Sleep is one of, if not the most, important factors in leading a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep during the night and feeling rested when you wake up in the morning is crucial if you want to be healthy. Along with sleep, proper nutrition and regular exercising are also essential pieces we all should pay attention to.
Nowadays, in this modern and fast era, many of us neglect the importance of sleep because we have too many responsibilities. We all probably hear many people saying how they’re tired because they don’t have much time, during the day or night, left for sleep. However, there are ways to take control of your sleep schedule.
There are around 2 billion people worldwide suffering from some kind of a sleep disorder, with more than 50 million of them living in the United States.
If you want to learn more about how to improve sleep quality and quantity, check the infographic below.
One of the biggest contributors to lack of sleep is the presence of technology. Many of us use technology from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, and recent studies show that around 95 percent of the people use technology (phone, TV, etc.) within an hour before going to bed.
Around 70 percent of children aged 6 to 17 sleep with at least one electronic device in their bedroom, which results in them getting less sleep on the school nights. The same percentage of people fall asleep holding their smartphone or have it on the nightstand.
Exposure to the blue lights from screens (the Artificial Light At Night Effect) can affect the level of melatonin in our body, which is a hormone that regulates our body’s internal clock.
ALAN has a negative impact on sleep disorders, negative emotions, morning attention spans, body thermoregulation and the circadian clock. Therefore, if you like to read books on an iPad or Kindle before going to bed, the best solution for you would be something an e-reader which produces less artificial blue light.
Sticking to your sleep schedule is also an important factor. Your body functions on a set loop, which is aligned with sunrise and sunset, and it needs between seven and nine hours of sleep for you to feel rested. For long-term sleep quality, try going to sleep and waking up at the same time. After a while, you probably won’t need an alarm to wake you up in the morning. Many of us like to sleep in on the weekends. However, this is not the best solution if you’re trying to stick to your sleep schedule.
Regular exercise can also help you sleep better and have better sleep quality. It is even used to reduce symptoms of insomnia.
One of the most important exercises is walking. However, doing some aerobic exercises, swimming, going to the gym, etc, at least three to four times a week would also be great for your body. Although exercising is the key to a good night’s sleep, doing it too late can have negative effects. Try exercising no later than three or four hours before going to bed.
Along with these positive sleep habits to regularly practice, here are a few things to try to avoid before going to sleep.
Eating acidic and spicy food less than two to three hours before bed can cause digestion problems and heartburn. Drinking caffeine after 3 p.m. can prevent you from entering deep sleep stages, which are crucial for your sleep quality. Nicotine also has an adverse effect on your sleep, stimulating your brain similarly to caffeine.
The bottom line is that sleep is a must when leading a healthy life. Without sleep, we wouldn’t be able to do anything during the day, so we shouldn’t take it for granted. Try using some of these tips and tricks and see if your overall health improves.