Do you wake up feeling tired or exhausted, struggle to focus on work or find it difficult remembering things? All these are signs of sleep deprivation which means you are either not getting a quality sleep or sleeping for less hours than required. To wake up fresh and energetic, one needs a few hours of deep sleep every day. While sleep quality decreases with age, many youngsters are reporting sleep issues, especially in post Covid era where it could be a symptom of long Covid or accumulated stress. There are also certain faulty bedtime habits that may be interrupting with our sleep. (Also read: What are the best and worst sleeping positions? An expert answers)
Many a time, we also hit the bed quite late in the night and as the night progresses the possibility of getting a quality sleep decreases. Reasearch says falling asleep between 10pm and 11 pm is the best time for heart health as it goes well with the circadian rhythm and daylight exposure. Sleeping well has numerous other benefits, it improves immunity, lowers risk of diabetes and heart disease, reduces stress and improves mood and focus.
“A good night’s sleep is wonderful! And I am talking about deep, uninterrupted, 6-8 hours. But, we may fail to pay attention to our habits, which—surprise! —could be preventing us from getting a good night’s sleep,” writes nutritionist Lovneet Batra in her recent Instagram post.
HABITS THAT RUIN OUR SLEEP
Batra also talks about habits that can ruin your sleep:
Bedtime screen use
Blue light from your phone throws off your circadian rhythms and keeps you from falling asleep and/or getting restful sleep. This blue light can suppress your body’s production of melatonin the master controlling hormone of your sleep-wake cycle. Insufficient melatonin can cause insomnia, irritability, and daytime sleepiness.
Eating large amounts of food before bed
Eating a large meal less than an hour before bed can make it difficult to fall asleep. Your body will still be trying to digest your meal, which may cause tossing and turning while you sleep
Indiscriminate caffeine consumption
Although coffee seems like the ultimate, round-the-clock energy hack ever known to be, it’s not! It can actually do you more harm than good if consumed indiscriminately. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make it hard to fall asleep.
Not exposing yourself to natural light
When we deprive ourselves of sunlight, we’re depleting our consumption of melanin, which makes melatonin, the chemical that helps us sleep.
Bottling up your stress
High levels of stress impair sleep by prolonging how long it takes to fall asleep and fragmenting sleep. Sleep loss triggers our body’s stress response system, leading to an elevation in stress hormones, namely cortisol, which further disrupts sleep.