Getting the proper amount of sleep is vital for your health, in many ways––physical, mental, and emotional to name just a few. Poor sleeping habits can result in weight gain and weak brain function, as well as hormonal imbalances that result in mood swings. Proper sleeping habits can help with improving your metabolism and your overall health. Although some factors of sleep are out of your control, there are several steps that you can take to ensure that you get the best sleep possible.
What to quit:
● Consuming caffeine – Caffeine consumption is not inherently detrimental to the quality of your sleep. The proper amount of caffeine at the right time of day can sharpen your focus. However, consuming caffeine before you sleep can prevent your body from relaxing and falling asleep at night. According to a recent study by Henry Ford and Wayne State College of Medicine, even moderate caffeine consumption before bedtime significantly affects sleep disturbance.
● Staring at your phone – Electronics that emit blue light, such as computers, tablets, and cellphones, can play tricks on your brain. Research by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute states that the blue light emitted by these devices can convince your brain that it’s daytime by reducing your melatonin levels. To optimize your sleep, try avoiding screens for two hours before bedtime.
What to start:
● Setting a schedule – An inconsistent sleep schedule can wreak havoc on your quality of sleep. A recent study by the University of Rome found that those who nap frequently and keep an irregular sleep schedule experience daytime sleepiness, poor academic performance, and trouble focusing. A regular sleep-wake can help your body’s natural rhythms and encourage optimal sleep.
● Easing anxiety – Whatever the issue may be, worrying can keep anyone awake for hours. If possible, try to handle your concerns before you go to sleep––do that chore you’re putting off or make that call you’ve been dreading. If your worries cannot feasibly be handled, attempt other forms of stress management––make a list of what’s worrying you, get lost in a book, or listen to calming music.
A good night’s sleep can benefit your health in numerous ways. Since these habits may be challenging to implement all at once, try taking it one step at a time!