Either you get enough sleep or you do not. Most people require seven to nine hours of sleep nightly. While getting too much sleep can hinder your day, not enough sleep consistently can affect your health in many ways. You might call it sleep debt. If you experience a lack of sleep most nights, your body is not going to function correctly. This puts you at a higher risk for a few of the following:
- The slow healing process of vital blood vessels that carries sufficient oxygen throughout your body
- The risk for a wide variety of health problems such as fibromyalgia
- High blood pressure
- Possible stroke
- Increased signs of depression
- Mood changes
- Develop a daily routine that works for you, such as getting up the same time every day. If you need a nap, take a rest for no more then one hour. Go to bed at the same time every night, if possible
- Your room needs to be dark, cool, and quiet
- Do relaxation techniques before bed and throughout the day
- Develop an exercise routine, but not before bed
- Eat a well-balanced diet, drink plenty of water, avoid caffeinated beverages beyond the later afternoon
Five Top Reason Why People Do Not Sleep Well
An Ill-Fitting Bed
The first reason why people do not sleep well is because of the bed they are sleeping on. You are different from the next person and require a specific mattress that accommodates your body's demand. If you sleep better on a firm bed and a soft mattress is what you sleep on, this can be enough to interfere with a night of peaceful, comfortable sleep. Before you purchase your next mattress, you need to try it out.
Working the Night Shift
Working the night shift may be the demand of your employer, or it may merely be that working the night shift fits your schedule better at the current time. Maybe working the night shift is your preference. However, consistently staying up all night is not normal and tends to throw your body into a vicious cycle unless you get into a habit of staying up all night on your days off to keep in step with the nights you work.
One alcoholic drink before bed can impede your sleep cycle. This is when you go from a gentle sleep to the deepest sleep known as REM. The REM cycle is when dreams occur. Alcohol tends to cause a chopped sleep and prevents you from getting that much needed peaceful and relaxing sleep pattern. You may think that you can sleep after drinking alcohol; however, your sleep is impaired. Your best bet is to forego any alcohol before bed.
Stress and Worry About Things Beyond Your Control
If you can change things that worry you, then set a plan in motion to change things. However, if you cannot change circumstances, it does no good to worry about these issues. Never allow these stresses to interfere with you getting a peaceful night's rest. Clear your mind and fill it with all the blessings of the day. Focus on the good things in your life and you will soon fall into a peaceful rest.
Caffeine Before Bed
As much as you would like that calming coffee or glass of iced cold soda, it is not a good idea due to the caffeine that coffee and soda contain. You may believe that you have a high tolerance for caffeine; however, caffeine can prevent you from entering that all-important phase of REM sleep. The best thing to do is to avoid coffee or soda from late afternoon to evening. Avoid decaffeinated coffee and pop as the chemicals added to decaf beverages are just as harmful to a good night's sleep.
Incorporate some of these ideas into your life if you are having trouble sleeping. Getting a good eight hours of sleep can make all the difference the following day. You will feel rested and ready to handle anything that comes along.
This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.