Are Your Daily Habits Sabotaging Your Sleep Cycle?
The number of people suffering from sleep related problems has soared over the last decade. According to medical experts and leading behavioural scientists, our obsession with technology is largely to blame. These days, most of us take smartphones, iPads, tablets, and music players to bed with us. Or, we tuck ourselves in and switch on the television set.
These are habits that have become very normal, but they could be wreaking havoc with our health. Sleep is an essential part of both physical and mental wellbeing, so a lack of it leads to all kinds of problems. In fact, we now know that missing out on just one night of sleep is enough to raise the blood pressure for twenty four hours. It is clear to see then that our daily routines could be disrupting a healthy, nurturing sleep cycle.
This guide to beating the bad habits and taking back control of your sleep will help you lead a happier, healthier life.
Sleeping on a Bad Mattress
This is one of the most common mistakes of all. There are millions of people, all across the country, who are sleeping on old, worn, and sagging mattresses. They provide no support and they keep sleepers tossing and turning all night long. If you want superb sleep, you must invest in a high quality mattress, with plenty of lumbar support. According to studies, sleeping on a luxury memory foam mattress is a fast track to a carefree slumber.
Unfortunately, technology is perhaps the biggest culprit when it comes to sleep problems. If you are constantly checking your phone, tweeting, messaging, or updating statuses, your brain has no chance to unwind and prepare for sleep. So, your body is ready, but your mind is still wide awake and racing from one thought to another. In order to be fully prepared for sleep, both the body and mind need to be given an opportunity to relax and slow down.
Hitting the Snooze Button
We all know what that early morning fight with the snooze button does to the mood. Scientists now know that standard alarm calls can actually be quite harmful for the brain. They end up making people feel more tired, because they tear sleepers right out of deep sleep, instead of rousing them gently. This is why sleep cycle alarms are very popular these days. They use gentle sounds to gradually wake the sleeper over the course of around half an hour.
Sleeping in a Light Bedroom
While some people can fall asleep absolutely anywhere, most need a very specific type of environment. For high quality sleep, your bedroom needs to be quiet, clutter free, and dark enough to block out things like street lamps and cars outside. If you live in a very bright area – like the centre of a town or city – it could be a good idea to invest in heavy lined blackout curtains. They’ll give you a much cosier, quieter space to nod off in.
Eating Poorly Before Bed
You can kid yourself that a small cup of tea before bed won’t make a difference, but if it contains caffeine, you’ll feel it when you try to sleep. In fact, diet in general plays a much bigger role in the health of our sleep cycle than we tend to realise. Those who eat a balanced diet, with plenty of fresh water, fruit, and vegetables usually find it easier to sleep than those who binge on sugar, fat, and stimulants. Try to avoid eating immediately before bed too, because it is another habit that prevents the body and brain from readying themselves for sleep.
Take Control of Your Sleep for a Happier, Healthier Life
The importance of good sleep simply cannot be overestimated. You only have to go a day without a full sleep to realise that the mind gets rather foggy when it is exhausted. It becomes harder to focus, tasks are more difficult, and productivity decreases. Over time, this is certainly enough to start affecting your work and home life, so take control of your sleep today.
The post Are Your Daily Habits Sabotaging Your Sleep Cycle? appeared first on Living Smart Girl.