A good night sleep is important; it helps maintain a healthy body and mind. When you don’t put effort in the quantity and quality of sleep you get, chances are you will perform very poorly in your everyday tasks and your emotional health may suffer. Poor sleeping habits will have you feeling fatigued, uncoordinated, stressed and anxious. Many people suffer from lack of sleep, the most common factors being a poor sleeping environment and a poor diet.
Here are some of the factors most of us may be familiar with
Light is commonly known to affect your sleep
Light is an important sleep influencer. It can influence your sleep both negatively and positively. Many people have a hard time trying to fall asleep during the day because of the direct light.
Indirectly, light sets our internal clock, directing your body on the time to sleep and time to wake up. Our sleep patterns are set through our internal clock. This is why most people are usually sleepier during the day compared to night.
This is how it works. When the sun sets, the body detects drops in the level of light and triggers the brain to release a hormone known as melatonin. Melatonin induces fatigue and relaxation to signal your body that it may be time for sleep.
When you are exposed to too much light during the night, you confuse your internal clock and your sleeping patterns may start to change. When going to sleep, ensure your curtains are drawn and all electronics are shut down for a better night of sleep. if you must keep your devices on, ensure they have a blue light filter. The filter changes the color to a warmer temperature that will not have any effect on the brain.
The surface you sleep on may have a huge impact on the quantity and quality of your sleep. Sometimes, the differences between a cheap and expensive mattress can be huge. Low-cost mattresses tend to be stiff or dent in areas that you normally sleep on. Overtime, they can be really uncomfortable and make your muscles stiff. This is because most of your muscles do not have a firm support, and there is a minimal supply of blood to most parts of your body. If you start feeling fatigued every time you wake up, it may be time to replace your mattress. Crate and Barrel have some of the most comfortable and affordable beddings that will guarantee you a good night sleep.
The pillow provides support when it comes to sleeping. When the pillow is too high, it closes up your throat making it difficult for you to sleep. For people with sleeping disorders, this may aggravate your conditions. Use fewer pillow and ensure they just a few inches above your shoulders so your airway can be free when you’re sleeping.
Loud noise may keep you up at night and prevent you from getting enough sleep overall. Noises make you irritable and anxious. Such stress will elevate your blood pressure and heat, making it hard to fall asleep or go back to sleeping.
Noises such as snoring, loud music and loud neighbours can be annoying and may hinder you from getting the much needed rest.
One great way to fall asleep in a noisy environment is using some white noise. White noise works by blending the external noise into the background making it easier for you to calm your mind, relax your body and fall asleep.
How much do you travel?
Like mentioned above, light sets up our internal clock. When you stay in one place for a long time, and travel to another area you experience jet lag. When the exposure to light changes, you may find it difficult to find sleep immediately.
You can adjust your sleeping habit several days before you start to travel as a method of coping. As soon as you start to travel, reset your clock to get mentally prepared for a different time zone. Dehydration makes it harder for you to think, ensure you drink plenty of fluids when you are travelling.
Melatonin is good at helping you reset your internal clock once you arrive at your destination. Enrich your diet with melatonin rich foods such as milk, peanuts, lettuce and cherries. If you expect to reset your body clock back to normal, avoid stimulant such as alcohol and coffee because they will keep you awake for long hours.
The medications you are taking may be affecting your sleep
Certain medications have ingredients that can be upsetting to your normal sleeping patterns. Medications for high blood pressure, flu medications, antidepressants, ADHD medication, thyroid, heart and asthma medications are among the few that will disrupt your sleep and keep you awake all night.
If you are taking any medication, discuss with your doctor or pharmacist on alternatives that won’t disrupt your sleep. Switching medications or lowering the dosage may help you get a better sleep.
Changing the time you take the medicine could also help. A restful sleep is as important as taking your medication when it comes to fighting medical conditions.
The timing of your work can influence your sleeping habits. Shift workers are the most affected people. Working on different shifts can confuse your biological clock, leading to sleep related disorders. When you change your sleeping routine regularly, you will end up taking a few hours from your regular sleeping pattern
Shifting from day to evening is the hardest. Your body uses the light from the sun to set your biological clock. When the sun sets, your brain produces melatonin which induces fatigue and sleep. Your confusing work routine will have a long term effect on your body and brain. You may end up with serious health and mental issues. People working on shifts have been found to suffer from stress, depression and poor cognition.
Before you begin another shift, take a few days to transition into it. Adjust all your sleeping habits to ensure you have minimal complications during the transition.
Getting a good night’s sleep is about creating the perfect sleep environment; the lighting, the sound, and the surface you sleep on all need to be just right to allow your brain to rest.