For many adults, sleep can feel like a luxury. While experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep per night, this number might simply sound laughable to you. With the demands of daily life and your racing thoughts at night, how can you possibly get enough sleep?
Well, you might be more responsible for your lack of snooze time than you think.
As modern humans, many of our daily habits actually get in the way of our sleep cycle, also known as our circadian rhythm. And this can have serious consequences.
“Inadequate sleep can lead to increases in appetite because your body is compensating for a lack of energy and struggling to find fuel for your everyday activities,” according to Kris Carr. “Too little sleep also increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, heart problems, respiratory disorders, depression, and problems with substance abuse, not to mention a lessened ability to pay attention, react to unexpected events, and remember new information.”
So, yes, those brain lapses you experience during the day likely happen because your brain cellsare as tired as you are.
If you are ready to make a change and commit to more restorative sleep, the following tips can get you started.
Habits To Kick
To revamp your habits and achieve better sleep, you might consider eliminating these pesky habits from your daily routine.
Drinking Too Much Coffee
There is nothing like a cup of coffee in the morning, but are you sipping too much throughout the day? The average coffee drinker consumes 3.1 cups per day, but if you drink more than four, you might actually be causing more harm than good.
Scrolling Before Bed
Blue light from your mobile device can actually disrupt your sleep cycle. If you are in the habit of checking social media or watching videos before bed, this habit could be to blame for your patchy sleep. Put your device down about an hour before you hit the hay.
Unwinding With A Drink
While alcohol might initially calm you down, its effects are more complex than that. Even one drink before bed can cause you to wake up multiple times per night, so you might want to find another way to relax after work.
Working In Bed
Many professionals do late night work in their bed. If you are working on a side project late into the night, choose a different location if possible. While you may not realize it, you are likely associating your bed with work rather than rest exclusively.
Habits To Start
When you eliminate the above habits, consider replacing them with these healthy sleep boosters.
Sticking To A Bedtime Routine
When you go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day, your body can regulate your sleep cycle more naturally. To help yourself stick to this, craft a bedtime routine that you enjoy and that calms you down.
Racing thoughts and worry are often the culprits of poor sleep. If these thoughts are keeping you up, it might be time to unplug for a day. There is a reason why the U.S. spa industry reached an overall revenue of $16.3 billion in 2015. A relaxing treatment is often the key to a more relaxed disposition overall.
Reading (Paper) Books
Having trouble putting your phone down at night? Pick up a good book and develop a reading routine. This is a great way to ease your mind into sleep and detach from the world for a while.
While there is no perfect formula for ideal sleep, you have the opportunity to try out what works for you. And remember: If you are experiencing sleepless nights regularly, be sure to talk to your doctor. Some sleep issues are caused by medical sleep disorders.
Sleep is not a luxury; it is necessary. By cleaning up your sleep hygiene and seeking the advice of a professional, you can reclaim your nights and feel more lively during the day.