How well you sleep at night has a profound impact on your physical and mental health. If you’ve ever experienced a night where you’ve tossed and turned, you know that the next day you were probably grumpy and had a hard time concentrating.
In addition to a lack of sleep impacting your overall health, your lifestyle can also impact your quality of sleep. Here are some of the factors that impact how well you sleep at night.
Too Much Screen Time
The circadian rhythm controls your body. This is basically an internal clock that lets you know when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to go to sleep. Normally, it is influenced by the sun. Thus, when it is bright outside, this signals to your body and brain that it’s time to be awake. When it starts to get dark, this lets your body know that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
The light that has the greatest influence on your circadian rhythm is called “blue light.” This occurs naturally in sunlight, but it can also be found in various electronic equipment, including computers, TVs, and cell phones.
If you spend a lot of time in the evening watching TV or looking at your phone, then you are exposing yourself to blue light—and it could be messing up your circadian rhythm. To ensure that you get a good night’s rest, it’s recommended that you stop looking at electronic devices several hours before bed or use a blue light filter.
Another lifestyle choice that might be impacting your quality of sleep includes being overweight. Having excessive weight on your body can reduce breathing problems, including snoring and sleep apnea.
While snoring may not impact you directly, it could disrupt a partner. Sleep apnea will have a huge impact on the quality of sleep you get at night. You might even find that you have to use a CPAP machine or have to look for CPAP alternatives for sleep apnea.
If you’re hoping to get a good night’s rest, then you might want to consider getting rid of the excess weight. This can be achieved through diet and exercise—both of which have also been found to have a positive impact on how well you sleep at night.
Drinking too much alcohol before you go to bed can negatively impact how well you sleep. You may think that it helps you sleep deeply, but studies have found that this isn’t true. Alcohol can help you fall asleep faster, but it reduces the amount of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep that you get.
If you aren’t getting the necessary amount of REM sleep throughout the night, this could lead to feeling exhausted and having poor concentration the next day.
Consuming alcohol before bed can also suppress your breathing, which could be another cause of snoring and sleep apnea. If you’re hoping to get a really good night’s rest, then it’s in your best interest to change your lifestyle and stop consuming alcohol before bed.
If you’re like most people, then you probably work during the week and get weekends off. During the week, you probably have a set time that you go to bed, and when you wake up in the morning. On the weekends, you might disregard your regular schedule and stay up late and sleep in. Making these changes to your sleep schedule could be taking a toll on your ability to get a good night’s rest.
Changing your sleep schedule puts a lot of stress on your body. You may think that taking the naps on the weekend will help you get caught up on your sleep, but this will impact your ability to sleep at night. If you want to feel fully rested and alert, then it’s in your best interest to change your lifestyle so that you go to bed and get up at the same time every day throughout the week and on the weekends.
Anxiety and Stress
Your body experiences anxiety and stress when it perceives a threat. Either of these processes forces your brain to release chemicals that keep you alert and awake. Thus, if you are incredibly stressed or anxious about things that are going on in your life, this will have an impact on how well you sleep.
There are many lifestyle choices that can increase your stress and anxiety, and you may find that you experience these sensations because of work, family, and/or friends. If you want to get a good night’s rest, then finding a way to de-stress and relax before bed can help. Consider taking a hot bath, meditate, or stretch.
Your Life and Quality of Sleep Are Intertwined
If you’ve ever wondered if your lifestyle can affect your quality of sleep, it certainly can. The quality of sleep you get can also impact your lifestyle. These two items are intertwined. To get a good night’s rest, you might have to make some life changes.
While these may seem challenging to implement at first, they are well worth the time and effort. Take the time to look at your current lifestyle and determine which actions might be having the greatest impact on your sleep. Once you make changes and start sleeping better, you might be surprised at how enjoyable your new life can be.