Posted By Wendy Boulay
Studying? Working? Family time? Most people feel that there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish the many tasks they have. While cutting back on bedtimes might seem like the easiest solution, it’s not without some serious risks to your mental and physical health.
Chronic lack of sleep can put you at risk for some serious health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, obesity, loss of libido, and even the development of diabetes.
Aside from the physical effects of long term sleep deprivation, there are more immediate symptoms that can have a negative impact on your mental health – ultimately leading to poor physical health. Some of these are a lack of concentration and focus, reduced alertness, impaired memory and creativity, lower stress threshold, and increased food consumption and appetite.
Ways to Improve Your Sleep
While serious sleep conditions require a visit to your doctor, there are some tried and true methods that can assist you in getting a more restful sleep.
- Create a bedtime & wake-up time: This can help your body become accustomed to falling asleep routinely; regulating your body’s internal clock.
- Relax & Unwind: Taking 10 to 20 minutes before bed can help to relax your mental stresses from the day. Simply take a few minutes to practise some deep breathing exercises.
- Nap smart: If you really cannot make it through the day without your cat nap then have one, but be smart about napping. Try to limit your naps to 30 minutes and never nap in the evening.
- Exercise: Keeping your body in a healthy state can actually help you sleep better.
- Avoid toxins: Tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine can greatly affect your sleep patterns. Try to avoid these and do not eat a heavy meal before going to bed. Try to stop night time snacking at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.
Remember to always visit your doctor if you are having problems sleeping.