Few things are as integral to overall health as getting the appropriate amount of rest each night, but unfortunately, modern life isn’t kind to our sleeping schedules. Crazy work deadlines, family responsibilities, and social lives combine to make sleep a luxury, not a necessity.
Research has shown time and time again the importance of sleep. Here are just a few of the important roles sleep plays in your life:
- Proper rest can help you maintain a healthy weight
- Proper rest can improve your memory and concentration
- Proper rest makes you more productive and improves performance
- Proper rest reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke
- Proper rest reduces the risk of depression and other mental illnesses
- Proper rest improves your immune system
If you’re struggling to get to sleep, know that you’re not alone. According to research completed by the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of adults report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more. To make things worse, the study showed that at least 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders.
Is there any hope for your sleep woes? Yes! If you’re trying to get a lock on better sleep habits, consider the following reasons many of us struggle to get shuteye and change your habits for the better.
Reason #1: You’re Not Exercising
If you’re not giving your body a thorough workout every day, you could be doing yourself a disservice when it comes to bedtime. Several studies have shown that moderate-intensity exercise reduced the time it took patients to fall asleep, and increased how long they stayed asleep.
How to fix it: If you aren’t getting the appropriate amount of physical activity every day, make sure you commit yourself to a new fitness regimen. Check out affordable memberships at CorePower Yoga and balance your mind while balancing your body.
Reason #2: You’re On Your Phone or Computer in Bed
You’ve likely heard this by now, but it’s a great time for reiteration: Keep your phone and computer out of the bedroom! Our society’s over-reliance on technology is affecting our sleep habits. Exposure to artificial light from your phone, laptop, tablet, or television can suppress your body’s production of melatonin, an important sleep-promoting hormone.
How to fix it: Leave your electronics in the living room. If you use your phone as an alarm, go ahead and invest a few bucks in a classic alarm clock—bring some vintage appeal back to your bedroom décor.
Reason #3: Your Gut Health is Impaired
This might seem out of left field, but your gut has a significant impact on all of the body’s processes, including sleep. Your gut microbes have an important role in the production of melatonin, and can also help reduce levels of cortisol—a stress hormone that may keep you tossing and turning late into the night. It’s also important to talk about the elephant in the room: if your digestive health is suffering, you’re probably dealing with irregular bowel movements, which can definitely impact your sleep cycle (running to the bathroom at 3 am isn’t doing you any good!).
How to fix it: Get your gut back on track by eating a diverse diet of healthy foods, and consider incorporating a daily supplement into your morning routine, like Zacol. Zacol helps alleviate irregular digestive symptoms, which can help you get to sleep and stay asleep, and help get your microbiota back in proper working order.
Reason #4: You’re a Smoker
We shouldn’t have to say this in 2018—if you’re smoking, stop. There are endless reasons to quit smoking, but sleep trouble is one that you might not have expected. The nicotine in those tiny cancer sticks is actually a stimulant—meaning your bad habit could actually be keeping you awake longer.
How to fix it: Quit smoking—now! If you need help, check out Smokefree.gov.
Reason #5: You Drink Too Much Caffeine
Most of us probably fall into this bad habit, as we feel we can’t possibly get through our days without our regular three cups of coffee—or that double shot of espresso. Drinking coffee or tea anytime in the afternoon is a bad evening, especially for those struggling to get some shuteye.
How to fix it: Try to wean yourself down to no more than 24 ounces of coffee or other caffeinated beverages to keep your sleep cycle regular.
Don’t let sleeping woes get you down any longer. Make sure you correct any of these habits and get the peaceful night’s rest you deserve.