In modern society, sleep has become one of the most ignored parts of a healthy body and mind. Humans are the only animals who willingly deprive themselves of it. Sleep deprivation has become a big problem for us. A big part of the western population sleeps less than needed. According to the journal
Who doesn’t love to sleep? Given the chance, many of us would turn off the alarm and sleep until noon. So, why is sleep deprivation so problematic? it has several reasons. First of all, we live in a marvelous era of entertainment. A simple monthly subscription can give us access to the huge library of movies and TV shows. There are thousands of amazing website to read interesting articles or watch random videos. This gives us a reason to not sleep on time. The problem is not that we wake up early, but that we sleep too late for the time that we have to wake up. It is fine to sleep at 1 AM if you do not have to wake up until 9 AM. However, if our alarms are set to wake us up at 7 AM, then we are left only with 6 hours of sleep. Two episodes of Netflix’s new TV show can ruin our sleep and deprive us of it.
Not everyone sleeps less than they need because of digital entertainment. Some of us have very demanding jobs that make us work a lot. Some have a lot to do and then get woken up early by the little children. Other causes of sleep deprivation can be drinking too many caffeinated drinks, difficulty to fall asleep due to anxiety and different medical problems like sleep apnea. So, how can we battle it? We have prepared several very effective tips to fall asleep fast and get quality sleep throughout the night.
How can we sleep better?
Drinking and Eating Habits
One of the most obvious ways would be to remove foods that keep you awake from your diet. The primary substance that destroys the sleep schedule of millions of people worldwide is caffeine. People overconsume caffeinated drinks and the result is poor sleep quality. Do not be mistaken and think that only coffee or energy drinks have caffeine in them. Soft beverages like Coke or Pepsi have a significant amount in them. With coffee or another can of Red Bull, ask yourself: Do you really need that much caffeine in your body? Do not take it after 3 PM and definitely anything after 6 PM is big no.
Caffeine is not the only problem. Alcohol is another enemy of healthy sleep. While many of us thought for a long time that it could help us sleep well, in reality, it disrupts the sleep cycles, awakes us multiple times a night and drastically reduces the quality of the overall sleep at night. Try not to take alcohol a few hours before going to sleep.
Eating a large meal before bed is also not recommended. Especially if it has lots of carbohydrates such as sugar. It will give your body energy it does not need during the sleep and make you uncomfortable as the body will try to digest it while sleeping. Eat your last meal of the day at least 3 hours before going to sleep. Drinking lots of water before bed is also a bad idea. While water is very important for your health as it hydrates you, you will most likely wake up during the night to go to the bathroom.
Consistency is the key to develop something called circadian rhythm. This is your body’s internal schedule of when to fall asleep and wake up. Have you noticed that if you wake up let’s say at 7 AM every morning during weekdays, on weekends you wake up at around the same time? Even if you want to sleep more. Or do you wake up 2-3 minutes before your alarm clock? That happens because of circadian rhythm and to develop it, you need to go to sleep and wake up at the same time almost every day (preferably every day, but often it is not possible due to our lifestyles).
Where you sleep obviously affects how you sleep. There are multiple factors here that decide the quality of your sleep. First, the temperature should be right. It is difficult to fall and stay asleep if the room is too hot. Some people keep the heat on an entire night and have a thick cover on top of them. If the body gets hot, it will not sleep well. The ideal temperature for sleeping is 67 degrees Fahrenheit. So, turn the heater off, save money and enjoy your sleep.
Another factor is the quality of your mattress and your pillow. If they are too uncomfortable you will not sleep well. You also need to make sure that the room does not get noisy. This is especially a problem for people living in large cities. Even one car passing by your apartment can wake you up if your window is facing the street.
We hope that the article was helpful for you and your sleep will improve after reading it. To summarize, the sleep is extremely important and yet we are often deprived of it. Fix your schedule, environment, and diet to get the quality sleep your body and mind needs.