• Teresa Conrad

What's Hurting Your Sleep


If you don't already know, sleep is VERY important. You need sleep for your muscle recovery, cleaning up toxins, consolidation of short-term memories into long-term memories, etc.


Lack of quality sleep has been shown to affect your focus, fat loss, insulin signaling, testosterone production and heart health. Quality sleep will help you perform better mentally, physically and sexually. Sounds like something we should prioritize, huh?


1. Light


I'm sure we've all heard of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that signals your body that it’s time to sleep. Blue light produced by the sun, TV screens, smart phones and computers all disrupt your production of melatonin. So if you're not sleeping well, consider installing a program that gradually reduces blue light from the screen after sunset. And try to avoid other bright lights near when you want to go to sleep. I've considered blackout curtains or a face mask not only for night time, but also for when the light wakes me in the morning.


2. Noise


Not all sounds are the same. Sudden noises are more likely to disturb your sleep than constant noises. For instance, the consistent noise of your fan running might not bother you, but the same fan may disturb you, or even wake you up, if someone abruptly starts it while you’re asleep. The noises most likely to disturb your sleep are those that carry meaning. Ex: two people talking vs. instrumental music. So if you have no option but to sleep in a noisy environment (and are not a parent), consider earplugs. Some people appreciate meditation or soothing music to mask outside noises, but keep the volume low.


3. Heat


Ever have a hard time falling asleep when its really hot? I know when that summer heat comes I am usually restless throughout the night and sometimes wake up in a pool of sweat. Fun. Elevated core body temperature has been associated with insomnia.


On the other hand, lower core body temperature have been associated with reductions in sleep latency. Therefore, if your bedroom is cool, not freezing, you may fall asleep faster and enter the deeper stages of sleep sooner.


Overall, sleeping at a comfortable 60-67 degrees is ideal.


4. Alcohol


Alcohol is a depressant of the central nervous system. It helps you unwind; but be aware, that doesn't mean you will sleep better.


After you fall asleep from maybe one too many glasses of wine (or just one glass in my case), the effects fade. Alcohol reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, affects your circadian rhythm and sleep rhythm, aggravates breathing problems (you'll snore more #nolovelife ) and leads to extra bathroom trips. And the more you drink before bed, the more pronounced these effects.


5. Caffeine


Caffeine is my problem. If I don't stop drinking coffee by 12 pm, I'll be up all night. Stats show it takes about 6 hours for one half of the caffeine to be eliminated. It has been called the most popular drug in the world. So low key, you all are drug addicts.


Caffeine cannot replace sleep, but it can make us feel more alert. It blocks sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increases adrenaline production. Once again, moderation is key. If you find yourself too dependent, seek help from freinds to steal all your coffee gift cards. Test out giving it a break for a few days and if you find yourself having withdrawals, headaches, muscle pain...you have a problem.


Even if it doesn’t prevent you from falling asleep, caffeine can still impair the quality of your sleep. As you sleep, caffeine makes you more alert and sleep more shallow. Avoid it within the six hours before bedtime.


OVERALL:


Sleep is out friend. Our bodies need it to function. Maybe it's time we set a bed time again. Do your best to eliminate the extra light, alcohol, noises, caffeine, and heat. You'll thank yourself later.

Sources:


https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/caffeine-and-sleep

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-alcohol-affects-quality-and-quantity-sleep

https://examine.com/nutrition/ten-tips-for-better-sleep/?fbclid=IwAR0jdTA5j2wigxyLMvO0wKwr2LwzxDkxPFFMARjIcKgRFfu6_OVACFYT0lg

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