There are four generic pillars when it comes to our health. The first being exercise, the second stress management, the third nutrition and the fourth being sleep. All of these aspects remain equally important when it comes to creating a healthier, happier you!
What most people don’t understand is that a lack of sleep can be a major cause of health problems in your life. Healthy sleep is associated with a broad spectrum of behavioral, biological, environmental, psychological and lifestyle factors. Now this doesn’t mean that you should just sleep your life away, but 1/3 of our life should definitely be spent sleeping.
Let’s show you some ways on how you can increase your quality of sleep because the better you sleep, the higher quality life that you will have!
Are you one of those people that say “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”? Then you walk around like a zombie all day long?
Well just to be honest, sleep may actually be the missing link when it comes to your happiness.
Don’t believe me? Well, then take it from these experts.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced that both swing and graveyard shifts, which are proven to cause a lack of sleep, are known carcinogens. The US Institute of Medicine’s committee on sleep noted that after decades of research, they determined that lack of sleep is associated with a wide range of detrimental health concerns. It’s associated with an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke.
You can clearly see that a lack of sleep will make any disease or medical condition worse if not treated in the proper way.
What can be causing this?
There are so many factors that you might not even notice that lingers all around you.
You might not want to think so, but both the hidden and obvious stressors in our lives can be the reasons we are constantly kept up at night. For example, smart phones, TVs, mobile devices and computers are fairly new forms of stress that our bodies are not used to.
This might be very difficult for you but you should remove the TV from your bedroom. Even when turned off it can give off radiation that interferes with your sleep hormones. If the TV is left on, it can increase stress through cognitive thinking! Stop talking on your cell phone after 6 PM, if you think that is impossible you can always use wired earphones, put the phone on speaker or text to avoid putting the phone up to your face. The micro-wave like frequency can actually affect your pineal gland in your brain which secretes melatonin.
A big reason could be the fact that you are not getting outside enough. Going outside during the day and introducing your body to sunlight produces the happy hormone called serotonin. This hormone helps you feel energetic and alert during the day. Keeping these levels of serotonin high during the day will preserve sleep hormone, called melatonin, to be secreted at night when you need it to fall asleep.
There are a few stimulants that could also be causing you a restless sleep. Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine are the most common. Caffeine should not be ingested after 3:00PM if you have a normal sleeping schedule. This is because it takes 12 hours for your body to fully metabolize caffeine, which could leave you tossing at turning when in bed. After 4 hours of ingesting alcohol, it turns into a stimulant. So even thought you might fall asleep feeling tired, alcohol will keep your mind stimulated throughout the night leaving you with a terrible night’s sleep. Nicotine might feel like it’s calming you down but in reality it is just satisfying your withdrawal symptoms and stimulating your mind.
I know that some of these tips are going to be extremely difficult to implement since these habits have been a part of your lifestyle for such a long time. The fact remains that if you are able to try them out, you will receive major results when it comes to increasing your sleep quality. Aim for 7-8 hours each night, but just like anything else in life everyone is different. So, if you do well with a little more or less, then do what works for you!
Not only will you feel more energetic and alert during the day, but it can also help you lose that unwanted body fat that you have been trying to get rid of for years.