When was the last time you got at least 7-9 hours of a sound sleep? Despite benefits like improved mood, better focus, weight management, and a longer lifespan, rest seems to be low on the average person’s list of priorities. Hectic lifestyles and daily responsibilities tend to take precedent, as approximately 35% of adults report getting less than seven hours per night. Though missing a few hours of shuteye seems commonplace, continuing these patterns has serious consequences.
What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
Your mind and body need adequate rest to heal, reenergize, and replenish. While you may not experience any adverse effects right away, failure to get enough sleep can result in the following:
- Lack of focus or concentration
- Memory problems
- Low energy levels
- Reduced libido
- Hormonal imbalances
- Weight gain
- Poor skin
- Weakened immune system
- Increased risk of mental illness
- Higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other long-term conditions
Solving The Problem
You realize that sleep is imperative to your health and wellness. You have a clear understanding of what happens if you’re not getting enough sleep. The only thing left to do is figure out what’s keeping you up and make the necessary changes to improve your sleep patterns. Below is a look at some of the most common sleep distractions and practical solutions to resolve them.
Stress and Anxiety
When life has you stressed out or anxious, getting rest is nearly impossible. You may try, but all the tossing and turning disrupts your ability to get some shuteye. Your mind is racing as it fixates on your troubles. Your body is in constant fight or flight mode, overwhelming just about every bodily system. You begin pacing back and forth, looking for anything to soothe your frustrations, but turn to unhealthy options making things worse.
If stress or anxiety are sleep distractions for you, there are several options for relief. You can reduce stress by lightening your daily load, asking for help, and developing routines that simplify your life. You can also use products that support your health and wellness like YNM weighted blankets, CBD oil massages, aromatherapy candles, and white noise machines. If the stress and anxiety don’t subside, talking with a therapist is advised.
Technologies like televisions, computers, tablets, and smartphones have become such an intricate part of everyday life that it’s hard to pull yourself away. While there’s nothing wrong with utilizing these modern conveniences, failure to unplug before bed can disrupt your sleep.
Falling asleep with the television on, finishing up work on the laptop while in bed, or playing a few rounds of Candy Crush before turning in may seem harmless, but it’s quite the opposite. The noise, bright lights, and adrenaline-evoking content can keep you awake for hours.
If you believe technology could be what’s depriving you of sleep, the fix is simple. At least an hour or two before bed, turn off or unplug from all technological devices. If you need some assistance getting rest, turn on some soft music, read a book, or meditate to unwind.
Food and Drinks
What you eat or drink in the hours leading up to your bedtime affects your sleep patterns. Eating a heavy meal too late, indulging in too much sugar, or consuming too much caffeine, for example, are some of the biggest sleep distractions. Eating too late causes digestive issues like gas and indigestion, which will keep you tossing and turning. On the other hand, fueling up on sugar or caffeine serve as a stimulant that keeps your mind and body alert for hours.
Sticking to a healthy diet, eating at least 2-4 hours before bed, and limiting your sugar and caffeine intake are all simple strategies to eliminate the problem.
Sleep is vital to your physical and emotional well-being. If you’re among the percentage of adults that aren’t getting at least 7-9 hours of sound sleep each night, you need to make changes. Start by identifying the sleep distractions in your life and develop strategies to reduce or resolve the problem.
Welcome to Motivational’s. This is Elliot Grant, fitness fanatic, and your go to advisor and blog post writer, putting your fitness first.