Not getting enough sleep is one of the biggest consequences of our hustle and bustle lives. According to one study published by Gallup, more than 40% people in the U.S. get less sleep than recommended.
But what are the reasons for this? What is making so many of us sleep deprived? Some reasons, such as depression, obstructive sleep apnea, hormone imbalances and chronic illnesses are a few of the reasons. These factors are not easily fixed and often require the assistance of a medical professional. Stress, is another big factor in sleep deprivation. This requires an individual to create deeper lifestyle changes or stress management methods to cope. For the our intents and purposes for this article, however, we want to focus on three lifestyle habits, which easily lead to sleep deprivation, that anyone can fix with a few simple lifestyle changes.
1. Eating too late at night
Eating your dinner too late at night is one of the major reasons why you are not getting the right amount of sleep. Sleep is that time of the day when the body is supposed to relax and recover for the next day. When you have a late night meal and then go to bed straight afterwards, the digestive system is working harder to digest the meal rather than being in rest and recovery mode. Needless to say, this affects your ability to sleep and is a simple lifestyle fix.
Solution: Try to eat at consistent times each day. This means scheduling your dinners to take place at more or less the same time each and every day. Also, try to eat your dinners at least 3 hours before bedtime.
2. Using smartphones on your bed
Now-a-days all to many of us are attached to our smartphones, laptops and computers throughout the day. There are many less-than-positive affects that this can have on the body and mind. One of those is the white and blue lights that are emitted by the screens of these devices, which are actually a potent cause of sleep deprivation. How? They prevent the production of the hormone melatonin, which maintains the body’s natural sleep cycle.
Solution: To get the right amount of sleep, pry yourself away from your TV, laptop, tablet or mobile at least 30 minutes prior to going to sleep.
3. Lighting and temperature
Another significant factor in sleep deprivation, which many of us do not pay heed to, is the temperature and lighting conditions in your home or bedroom. If you have too much light, it’s harder for the brain to switch off. And, if it’s too warm or cold, you’re faced with another distraction that might make it difficult to slip into the sweet reverie of sleep.
Solutions: Your bedroom needs to have as much darkness as possible. Just make sure that if you have to get up and move around at night that you are able to maneuver freely. As far as the temperature is concerned, it is recommended to keep the temperature 5-10 degrees lower than the average daytime temperature to get a cozy and comfortable sleep. To make sure you have the right sleeping conditions, set your bedroom’s thermostat below 70 (but as per your comfort) and get a good night’s sleep.
The above three tips are small changes that anyone can make to increase the hours of sleep that your body needs. Try and bring these changes in your life and see what kind of positive affects they can have on your sleep deprivation issue.
Do you have any tried and true methods for getting a great night’s sleep? Of course, we’d love to hear from you! Make sure to write your comments below and we’ll share them!