Updated: Apr 30, 2019
Throughout our lifetime, people spend one of their life sleeping, equivalent to 25 years! Yet 60 percent of American’s struggle with their sleep. In today’s world, people get ready for work, dates, parties, dinner, but somehow fail to get ready to sleep. Most people develop routines to get ready in the morning and underestimate the power of a good night sleep.
The American society has been costumed to the idea that the “less” you sleep, the harder you are working. This concept is completely nuts! The human biological system is meant to receive seven to nine hours of sleep every day. Some people have do not sleep well enough because they choose not to sleep, others because their minds are not trained to let go of the things that happen throughout the day.
But what is it that affects our sleep? Is it our stress levels? Nutrition? Fitness? Well, it is a mixture of all activities a person does during daytime. This article tackles some of the main factors that affect sleeping patterns. If you find yourself having a starring contest with your fan every other night, this is for you.
Sleep is defined as a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which they usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost (ModelHealth). The most important take away is that sleep is a natural periodic state of rest. Meaning being awake breaks you down (catabolic) and sleep is anabolic (builds you up). Sleep rebuilds you, and keeps you youthful, good idea to start taking it more seriously.
The first step to developing a well balanced, deep-sleep pattern is to go to bed at the right time. Its been proven that humans get the most significant hormonal secretions and recovery by sleeping during the hours of 10 PM and 2 AM (ModelHealth). Humans are designed to turn down when the lights go out; to go to sleep when it gets dark, so if you have made a habit of ignoring this innate law, it is time to take action.
Melatonin is your best friend! Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and sends a signal to regulate the sleep-wake cycle in the body. Getting sunlight during the day increases the secretion for melatonin. Get more light during the day, less light at night.
Once the lights go out, avoid the screen. This is the number one thing that can improve sleeping patterns. According to a study, 15 mins of exposure to screen before bedtime can prolong sleep by 3 hours (ScienceNewsforStudents). Blue light tends to increase alertness at night, the complete opposite stimuli humans before bed time.
It is true, Americans are addicted to caffeine, many individuals drink so much caffeine that they no longer feel it, they just feel better after drinking it, similar to a placebo. Caffeine is a powerful nervous system stimulant, if your system is fired up, forget about getting high quality sleep. Set a curfew for your caffeine curfew. Mostly before 5 pm depending on your sensitivity.
The body sleeps better under cool environments, this is due to thermoregulation. Your body temperature naturally decreases to help initiate sleep. If the temperature in the environment is too high, it can be challenging for your body to enter the deal state for restful sleep.
Never bring your work to bed with you, never! Develop a sleep sanctuary, the bedroom is not the entertainment hub of the house. The relationship you have with the bedroom is key, if you create an environment where random activities take place in your sleep area, you are not creating a euro-association that it is time to sleep when you enter the room. The bedroom should be a sacred sleeping space where peace, calm and relaxation are overflowing.
One of the best things you can do to improve your sleep is simply get up early. You can get out of the old pattern of being up at night “tired and wired” by being early to rise and having a natural release of cortisol and going to bed earlier and taking advantage of natural release of melatonin (National Sleep Foundation).
To finalize, the importance of sleep has been decreasing throughout the course of human life. Humans are much more alike to other natural beings and occurrences, just as the Earth turns off the light every day, so should we.