What Contributes To Your Struggle With Sleep?…

What Contributes To Your Struggle With Sleep?

This goes without saying but sleep is essential for our bodies to function properly. It helps us recover from stress, maintain healthy immune systems, and even improve memory.

However, it’s safe to say that sleep is a foreign concept for a lot of us overtime workers and busy bees. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, yet 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough of it. It may not be rocket science as to why. Several factors of “adulting” contribute to it, some of which we touch base on a little later. But first, what are some of the negative effects of lack of sleep?

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How Sleep Deprivation Affects You

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, then you know that the next day you were probably grumpy and had a hard time concentrating.

Sleep deprivation is dangerous to your health, but it also affects your ability to think clearly and make sound decisions. Here are some negative effects of sleep deprivation:

  • Increased Risk of Car Accidents: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers involved in crashes caused by fatigue were twice as likely to be injured in a crash compared to sober drivers.
  • Poor Decision-Making: Fatigue impairs decision-making, so when you’re tired, you may find yourself making poor choices. For example, you may drive too fast or fail to notice a traffic light changing.
  • Reduced Memory Functioning: Studies have shown that lack of sleep causes memory problems. When you’re tired, you’ll forget things like appointments, meetings, and events.
  • Higher Blood Pressure: Lack of sleep increases blood pressure, which puts you at risk for heart disease.
  • Decreased Ability to Learn: People who aren’t getting enough sleep tend to perform worse on tests requiring concentration and attention

Lifestyle Practices That Impact a Good Night’s Rest

.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.

We Are On Our Phones or Laptops Too Often

Our circadian rhythms are controlled by biological clocks (internal timing devices) located in our brains. These clocks regulate when you’re supposed to be asleep and when you should be awake. They also control how much energy you expend during each period of activity. For example, if you normally work until midnight and then rest until noon, your internal clock may tell your brain that it’s okay to start working again around 2pm. Blue light has been shown to impact our circadian rhythms immensely. This blue light is emitted from screens like smartphones, tablets, computers, TVs, and even some LED lights.

The more time spent with electronic media before bedtime, the less likely you are to get quality sleep. A lot of us tend to be avid phone users, even more so at night, letting TikToks help lure us to sleep. Using smartphones or laptops right before bed may keep us up longer than usual. As addicting as this action is, a full night’s sleep may not come easy if we keep the routine going.

Consuming Alcohol at Night

Drinking alcohol excessively can negatively affect how well you sleep. It may speed up the time it takes for you to fall asleep, but it decreases the amount of REM sleep that you get. REM sleep is crucial because it helps your brain process information and makes sense of what happened during the day. If you’re not getting enough sleep during the night, this may result in feeling tired and lacking focus the next day.

Alcohol consumption before going to sleep can also suppress your breathing, which may lead to snoring. People affected with OSA or severe snoring can tell you firsthand just how much sleep, or lack thereof, they actually get.

Your Job Requires Constant Availability

In most cases, your career path may be the main factor in your quality of sleep. Professions like firefighters, doctors, or policemen require you to be available around the clock and often work differing shifts. If you’re working night shifts, it may take you longer to fall asleep at night because your body needs to adjust to the new hours. This means you might wake up feeling tired during the day.

If you work a rotating shift schedule, try to avoid going straight from night to day and vice versa. Instead, go to bed around the same time every night so that your body can get used to the new schedule. A constantly-changing sleeping schedule is not only draining but stressful for your body. Even attempting to take naps here and there will impact your ability to sleep at night. It may be in your best interest to take advantage when the weekend, or any free time really, comes around to get some much-needed rest. Another tip would be to keep the same alarms and try to wake up and go to sleep at the time as during workdays.

Our Anxiety or Stress is Working Overtime

If you’re experiencing high levels of anxiety or worry in your personal or professional life, your body may be releasing chemicals that prevent you from sleeping. Stress and anxiety often come from life circumstances outside of our control. To improve sleep quality, we need to take steps to manage stress and anxiety before going to sleep. One option is to consider doing something relaxing before going to sleep like meditation or stretching.

One step in the right direction is to take a look at what we can do to change these situations. This includes making changes in our own behavior and lifestyle. However, understanding some things are beyond our control is a must and that these are factors we need to make peace with.

Your Life and Quality of Sleep Are Intertwined

If you’ve ever wondered whether your lifestyle affects your sleep, it certainly does. Your sleep habits can also influence your lifestyle. These two things are intertwined. To achieve a good night’s rest, you may have to change certain aspects of your lifestyle.

While these ideas may seem difficult to implement initially, it’s important to take some action so that you can enjoy an improved quality of life. Take the necessary steps to improve your health and your situation will change for the better.


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Adam Ruiz

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A health & wellness content creator from South Central LA. 323 stand up!

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