Sleeping is an integral part of our lives. According to the National Sleep Foundation, we all need the right amount of sleep every day, depending on our age group. Since birth, we need sleep to recharge our internal batteries so that we will be fully-refreshed for the next day’s activity. Getting enough sleep is vital to keep us fit and healthy.
Newborns that are three months and below need about 14 to 17 hours of sleep each night, while adults aged 18 to 64 years old need around seven to nine hours of rest every night. Sadly, some people take precious sleep for granted. As a result, they suffer from sleep deprivation due to several factors. There are certain bedtime habits we tend to do that are harmful to our health. Among these harmful habits are the following:
Using Electronic Gadgets
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Living in the digital world, most of us will agree that we cannot live without browsing the Internet either on your tablet, laptop, or mobile phone. Thus, using too much electronics (and producing a bright light that illuminates your darkroom) before bedtime can keep your brain active, which can affect sleep. So it is best to avoid using gadgets before bedtime. Better yet, turn them off.
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Whether you’re reading an actual book or through an electronic gadget, reading during bedtime can affect your sleep as well, especially if you find the literature interesting. This will keep you up, and eager to finish what you have started. The next thing you know, it’s already past midnight.
Eating Heavy Meals
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Overeating food before bedtime can cause indigestion, which can make sleep time very much uncomfortable. It is difficult to fall asleep after eating a large meal because your metabolism perks up. Skip heavy meals at least three hours before going to sleep, and opt for eating light meals or fruits instead.
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Exercise can make us healthier, no doubt about that. However, save that during the daytime. This is because working out gives us energy and increases adrenaline rush, increasing our heart rate and body temperature, leading to sleeplessness. If your only time to work out is at night, you can do cooling down or hot bath after, to soothe your muscles and relax your body.
Drinking Coffee And Caffeinated Drinks
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We all know how coffee helps us perk up our mornings, so just save it for daytime, too. Energy drinks and coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that keeps us awake. Instead of coffee drink warm milk to relax your body and induce sleep.
Drinking Lots Of Fluids
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There’s no doubt how good ol’ water can be beneficial to our health. However, avoid overdoing it before going to bed, unless you want to wake up multiple times at night just to urinate.
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Some people prefer certain positions to sleep, but there are pros and cons on each of them. For example, sleeping on your stomach can help “ease snoring and some cases of sleep apnea,” according to Sophie Breene on her article on Greatist.com.
However, it can “flatten the natural curve of the spine, which can lead to lower back pain,” as well as straining the neck due to sleeping with your head turned to one side. But then again, it depends on the sleeper’s preferred sleeping position.
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Being too thrifty has its consequences. Apart from disturbing your good night’s sleep, a cheap mattress also causes back problems as well, leading to sleep problems. Better invest in a high-quality mattress. Good mattresses can last for years, and most of them have warranties, too!
Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
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As mentioned earlier, we should not underestimate the importance of sleep because of its potential impact on our health. Some of the symptoms of sleep deprivation include more noticeable eye bags or dark circles under the eyes, urge to sleep at daytime, mood swings and irritability, lethargy, cognitive difficulties, memory loss, obesity, clumsiness, reduced libido, and lack of motivation.
People who are sleep-deprived are at higher risk of having chronic illnesses such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Likewise, it can also cause weight gain and affect the growth of hormones and testosterone in men, according to Kathleen Davis, FNP, in her article on MedicalNewsToday.com.
Sleep is an essential part of our lives that we should not take for granted. Otherwise, it can greatly affect our quality of life. Besides, who doesn’t love sleep? So, go ahead and lie down on your comfy, fluffy bed, and sleep the night away.