Thursday 8 December 2016

What’s Keeping You Awake At Night? 5 Factors Affecting Your Sleep

Do you feel that you’re not functioning on all cylinders and feel tired for a lot of the time? If so, you’re not alone. It is estimated that one in three adults don’t get enough sleep each night. We often underestimate the seriousness of this. We’re aware that we feel tired and that this affects our productivity and enjoyment but what you may not be aware of is that lack of sleep can lead to serious medical conditions.

Sleep deprivation is associated with the following illnesses/conditions:

  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obesity
  • Cancer

If you’re not getting your nightly seven hours sleep, there could be several reasons for this.

1. Temperature

The temperature of your bedroom is important. Experts suggestion that it should be around 67 degrees Fahrenheit or 19 degrees Celsius. The exact temperature will vary, depending on your preferences. If it’s too hot or too cold, it could be preventing you from falling asleep or waking you up in the night.

Check your heating and air conditioning is up to code, and is functioning correctly. If not, call in a home heating company like Home Comfort USA or similar. A cool, dark room is the best environment to get a good night’s sleep.

2. Too Light

We hear a lot about light affecting sleep. It doesn’t just include light from the windows; it also includes so-called blue light from electronic devices. This blue light or ‘short-wavelength-enriched’ light affects melatonin, which is the hormone we use to induce sleep. There are several ways you can prevent light from interfering with your sleep.

  • Switch off electronic devices at least two hours before going to bed
  • If you can’t switch off all electronic devices, apply programs to filter out the short-wavelength light in the evenings
  • Dim alarm clocks
  • Block light from windows with blackout blinds or curtains

3. Allergies

Due to bedding and furniture, the bedroom is an environment that can trap allergens. This may make it difficult for you to sleep. Itchy eyes, coughing, sneezing and blocked sinuses will all keep you up at night. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent night allergies.

  • Ensure all bedding, including quilts and cushions, can be washed and wash them all regularly to prevent a buildup of dust
  • Vacuum your bedroom on a regular basis, pulling out furniture and vacuuming under the bed
  • Invest in hypoallergenic covers for pillows and bedding

4. Inconsistent Eating Patterns

Research suggests that inconsistent eating patterns can have a detrimental impact on your sleep. Try to keep to a routine when it comes to meals. Frequent departures from this may interrupt your sleep.

5. Splashing Cold Water On Your Face

Many of us splash cold water on our faces after cleansing to close the pores. However, it has a negative impact on sleep. As the cold water hits our face, our bodies are stimulated to release energy to keep warm. This energy makes it more difficult to drift off to sleep.

If you change just one thing related to your health, make it improving your sleep. Not only will you look and feel better during the day, your risk of contracting serious illnesses will reduce.

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