Sleep is one of the most neglected aspects of healthy living, even though it among the most essential areas to ensure good health. It is taken for granted nowadays and is readily sacrificed when other things come up in today’s hectic world. This should not be so, because sleep deprivation can lead to some serious health problems such as cancer, various cardiovascular diseases, weight loss and many other problems.
The following are five things you should avoid in today’s hectic world to get a good night’s sleep.
1. Night shifts
Late night shifts are obviously counterproductive to getting proper sleep, because instead of sleeping, you are working. A study has shown that people who have worked night shifts for up to three years can expect to have their life expectancy shortened by as much as ten years.
Using electronic gadgets close to your bedtime, or when electronic devices are present and switched on in the room where you sleep, can cause you not to sleep very well. Melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep, is reduced when you are exposed to light. Reduced melatonin levels hence translate into a reduced quality of sleep.
Reduced melatonin has also been associated with some types of cancers, such as breast and colon cancers, so there is added motivation to cut down on electronic usage close to bed time. Make sure you sleep in a dark room as well.
3. Irregular sleeping schedule
When you have an organized, regular sleeping time and schedule, your body gets used to it, adjusting itself to prepare for sleep at that time. When the time comes, your body does not struggle or take time to put you to sleep, unlike what happens with an irregular sleeping schedule, where your body might still be hyper and active when you decide to go to sleep.
Drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee and energy drinks, will upset your sleep cycle. Caffeine puts your body on hyper mode, making it incredibly difficult for sleep to come.
Eating a heavy meal two hours before your bedtime, especially a meal that is filled with fat and spices, can reduce the quantity and quality of your sleep. Fats and spices increase acid production in your belly, which can cause headaches when you lie down.
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