It is no secret that lack of quality sleep can lead to many health conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, or diabetes. But why is it so difficult to get an adequate amount of sleep? After all, you just have to close your eyes and drift off to Neverland, right? Not really.
There are plenty of things that can affect the length and quality of your sleep. Below, you will find a few of them, such as alcohol, your phone, naps, or diet. Keep on reading to find out more.
The first thing you should look at is your mattress. People tend to ignore box springs, foundations, and platform beds. It is important to find a comfortable bed and mattress that suits you and doesn’t cause any back pain.
If your mattress is old – then, it is high time to opt for a new one, preferably with memory foam. This will greatly improve the quality of your sleep. To understand if you need to purchase a new mattress depends on its condition and years of usage.
If you have a latex mattress, it should last up to around 12 years, a memory foam mattress is pretty durable and can be used for around 10 years, while other materials have shorter lifespan.
There is a direct link between drinking alcohol and insomnia. One of the main causes of sleeplessness after drinking alcohol is that your body metabolizes it much faster. As a result, you start to feel tired an hour or two later than usual.
But this effect does not last long. Once the alcohol has been processed, your sleep will be affected again because you will start waking up in the middle of the night. This is especially true for light sleepers.
On top of that, alcohol can affect your sleep quality in other ways. It may cause anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, which prevent you from falling asleep easily. It can also cause a lack of muscle relaxation, which affects sleep continuity.
3. Cell Phones
It is no secret that cell phones have become an integral part of our everyday lives. But have you ever thought about what it does to your sleep? There are plenty of studies that show that phone usage before bedtime affects sleep quality and duration negatively.
For example, one study showed that participants who were interrupted by their phones had sleeping issues, including having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
All of this is caused by blue light emitted by your phone, which disrupts the release of melatonin – the “sleep hormone”.
Napping might seem like a good idea if you have not had enough sleep during the night or if you are feeling drowsy during the day. There are plenty of people who think that naps help them to catch up on lost sleep at night, but this is a myth.
The truth is that napping increases the risk of insomnia and makes it harder to fall asleep at night.
This is because your body associates napping with nighttime sleep. Therefore it becomes confused when it tries to go to sleep at night without napping. So, instead of getting a full night’s rest, you get only a fraction of it.
5. Eating Right Before Sleep
Foods that are salty, full of sugar, or caffeine prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Some of such foods include:
- Salty nuts
If you crave any of those, it is best to consume them three hours before going to bed. Instead, it is better to develop a habit of eating only healthy foods. And if you really crave some food before going to bed, you can eat nutritious food, for example:
- Nuts (walnuts, almonds)
- Cottage cheese
- Fruit (bananas, cherries, etc.)
It is recommended to drink milk, yoghurt or green and herb tea.
There are many ways in which diet affects both the length and quality of your sleep, such as the amount of carbohydrates, fat, and protein consumed. That being said, let’s take a closer look at carbohydrates.
If you have not noticed this already, then here is a friendly tip for you: stop eating carbs just before going to bed. Carbohydrates spike high blood sugar levels, which can stimulate hunger and prevent you from falling asleep.
On top of that, postprandial (after eating) sleepiness is often accompanied by carbohydrate overconsumption. And so it goes. This is why it is recommended to avoid consuming carbs at least 2 hours before going to bed.
On top of that, it was found that people who ate a high-carbohydrate meal before bed had more sleep problems than others.
As you can see, there are many aspects that influence your sleep. You need to evaluate the condition of your current mattress, and then make sure that no light disturbs you at night.
Take care of your health by avoiding fatty and salty food before sleep and try to cut down on alcohol consumption. Once you implement these easy tips into your lifestyle you will soon realize that you wake up in a good mood and with lots of energy for the day.