Poor sleep patterns can wreak havoc on your health and mental well being, and often in ways you aren’t detecting. Obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, mood dysfunction, and overall shortened life expectancy are all linked directly to poor sleep.
If you are struggling with insomnia or have used a fitness tracker to show that you sleep inefficiently, you might want to look into these common factors that cause poor patterns. If none of these are effecting you, it might be time to go have a sleep study done to check for apnea and other breathing disorders.
Our brains work on a light cycle that is supposed to follow the rhythm of day and night, but our modern technology has our minds constantly convinced that there is still daylight. Using blue light filters and making sure that you don’t have any harsh fluorescent or LED white light on during the evening can cut back on these effects, but it’s best to go completely technology free for the hour before you go to sleep.Carrying your phone to bed with you may be wrecking your health by causing your mind to struggle with releasing sleep hormones when you need them. Try plugging it in in the bathroom when you brush your teeth and leaving it there for the night. After fighting antsy boredom for a few nights you will be glad for your new habit!
How often do we go to bed with a head ache? Or maybe with our feet sore from a long day on the sales floor? Is our mattress causing us to wake up more sore than we went to bed? Does our pillow make kinks in our neck keep up half awake?All things to carefully consider and try to remedy. If you are in mild pain from a long day or a chronic condition, take an over the counter pain relief a half hour before bed so that you can lay down and relax instead of bracing yourself for more pain.
If you think it’s your mattress and pillows causing you pain, try a night sleeping on the couch, or in a friend’s guest room and see if you notice a big difference. A high dollar hotel for a night might be an easy way to rule this out as well.
- Medication Side Effects
Check the side effects of any meds you are taking and talk to your doctor if a daily dose is causing insomnia. It may be as simple as switching prescriptions to get you a solid night of quality rest.
- Restless and Sore Muscles
Restless legs wake me up at least once a month. And after a day of yard work I will be up two or three times in the night or an ice pack or a heat pad. Taking a magnesium supplement is an easy way to relax those sore muscles and remedy restless legs. Epsom salt baths and lavender oil are also ways to eliminate some of those aches that make it hard to nod off at a decent hour.
Good luck rewriting your evenings! Here’s to you, and to waking up refreshed a month from now!