Sleep Hacks: What To Do If You Don't Get Enough Sleep

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Do you toss and turn every night for what feels like hours of restlessness upon end?

Not getting the proper amount of sleep can affect your mood, judgment and ability to learn and remember information.

At first glance, getting an inadequate amount of sleep over a long period of time doesn’t seem like a big deal; but not getting your proper beauty sleep can have a severe impact on your health.

In some extreme cases, prolonged sleep deprivation can increase the risk of having a serious car accident or heavy machinery accident – yikes.

Research has found that people not getting the proper amount of sleep will also increase their risk of:

• Uncontrollable weight gain

• Diabetes

• Mood disorders

• Heart complications

• High blood pressure

• Stroke

• Hormonal imbalances

So why aren’t you getting enough sleep? Why is sleep such a precious commodity in your busy lifestyle?  Read on to discover 3 factors that could be affecting your ability to switch off. Time to switch them off too!

Technology

The biggest obstacle preventing us from getting enough sleep is technology. Whether it’s our phones, video games, televisions or computers, this interaction we have created with technology wreaks havoc on our circadian rhythm. It over-stimulates our brains during those crucial periods throughout the rhythm where we should begin feeling sleepy but instead we sit staring at a screen like zombies. I know it may be difficult, but try to avoid all interaction with technology 2-3 hours before bedtime. Read some pages of a book, draw something, write down everything you want to accomplish the next day or even take some time to call a loved one and have a nice chat. The time before sleep shouldn’t be spent in front of a screen.

Lighting

The blue light emanating from technology - your phone, television, computer, kindle etc - can disrupt your sleeping patterns and keep you awake at night. This can be easily avoided by dimming the lights throughout your home as the night progresses, right up until bedtime. Depending on what time you go to bed, turn off at least 60% of the light in your home at least three hours before bedtime. This will help your body prepare itself for a more peaceful and easy night of sleep.

Eating Late

It generally takes anywhere from 12-24 hours for a healthy individual to digest food and eliminate waste. The beginning phases of digestion break down the food and release nutrients into our blood stream to be delivered throughout various parts of the body. Once you eat something, your body cannot shut off the digesting process. This is because your body wants to take in food and quickly convert it into a useful source of energy. Depending on your diet, the sugars in food can keep you awake at night. Since the body is at rest (or trying to), food will turn into fat and get wasted as a valuable energy source. Try to eat lighter, more frequent meals throughout the day and avoid foods high in sugar and fat later in the evening.

Works Cited

Why lack of sleep is bad for your health. (2015, June 15). Retrieved February 8, 2017, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/lack-of-sleep-health-risks.aspx Berkley, C. (n.d.).

What You Eat Can Sabotage Your Sleep. Retrieved February 9, 2017, from http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/food-sabotage-sleep#1

How much sleep do we really need? (2017, February 8). Retrieved from National Sleep Foundation (n.d.). Retrieved February 8, 2017, from https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need/page/0/2 Peri, C. (2014, February 13).

10 Things to Hate About Sleep Loss. (J. Beckman MD, Ed.). Retrieved February 8, 2017, from http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/10-results-sleep-loss#3