After a long week, it’s normal to sleep in past your alarm during the weekends… but if you’re doing it more often than not, your body is most definitely not working up to par. While in our culture sleep deprivation has become normal, almost something people tend to brag about to prove how hard they work, it’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Just this year, the Centers for Disease control and Prevention revealed that a whopping 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep!
“As a nation we are not getting enough sleep,” said Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Population Health. “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.”
Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing a slew of chronic conditions, when you lose your sleep you lose your mind and health! Here are some common sleep mistakes you may not be aware you’re making that can factor into your sleep deprivation.
Late Night Snacking & Caffeine:
We don’t assume that you’re slugging back an extra tall macchiato in the wee hours of the morning, but there’s many foods you may not even be aware that pack a good amount of caffeine! Comfort foods like chocolate, ice cream, specific teas, candies and alcohol all pack a great amount of natural caffeine. And all of these foods are unfortunately snacks that you’re probably grabbing for during the night.
Solution: Reach for foods that have tryptophan like milk, bananas, eggs and of course turkey!
Sleeping with Pets:
If you love to cuddle with your dog or cat in bed, you’re most likely having restless nights. According to a survey by the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, 53% those sleeping with pets in their beds admit to having them disturb their sleep. This makes sense, as animals are not on the same schedule we are, and are most likely catching z’s on the couch while you’re plugging away at work, their sleep habits are very different!
Solution: Put a comfy pet bed in another room so they know when you’re in your bedroom, you’re needing your beauty sleep!
Hitting the snooze button:
If you’re constantly setting multiple alarms to ensure you’ll be waking up in time for work, you may be doing more harm than good. When you break your sleep up, you are in fact low in quality. Think of it this way: anytime you hit that snooze button, you’re telling your body to prepare itself for another round of sleep. That’s a sleep cycle your body doesn’t end up finishing which makes you more prone to fatigue during the day.
Solution: Set your alarm for when you NEED to get up… and get moving! (We know, this one is hard!)
Falling Asleep In Front of The TV:
38% of americans flip on the television to get themselves ready for sleep. “Normally melatonin is secreted right around bedtime, when people would go to sleep, it begins to secrete and it peaks when you get to sleep,” Stuart Quan, a Harvard Medicine physician in the sleep and circadian disorders explained to Motherboard. “Right in that time frame, if you tend to try to fall asleep and you’re exposed to light and especially blue light, it will tend to inhibit the production of melatonin and your ability to sleep.”
Solution: Keep your TV and all electronics for that matter out of the bedroom. Use a white noise machine instead.