While scientists speculated that some of the top reasons why people are sleep-deprived are excessive TV viewing and use of computers, they were amazed to find out that there was another reason – rather, two other reasons.
It was discovered that spending long hours at work is one of the top reasons why people lack sleep. Another reason is lengthy commuting hours. Going to and from work can drain a great amount of time.
According to these experts, it is ideal to keep your commute by car, along with other errands, to 40 minutes or less a day. They explain that every additional eight minutes you spend in your commute means you lose about 15 minutes of sleep every night.
Why Artificial Light Can Prevent You from Sleeping Well
Another factor that may cause sleep disruption is light. Nowadays, artificial light is common in homes, and they can greatly impact your sleep patterns. Naturally, you are designed to sleep during the night and wake up during the daytime. This is why it is important to sleep in complete darkness. Once this happens, your body is prompted to produce melatonin and serotonin, your body’s sleep hormones.
This is why it is important to get rid of any source of light that may interrupt your shuteye. This includes night lights, gadgets, television, computers, and other sources of light. You can use blackout drapes or curtains to keep the light from entering your room. Other experts recommend using sleep masks to make it look darker.
How Temperature Impacts Sleep
Aside from light, temperature is also a big deal. Experts found that when you sleep, your body temperature drops to its lowest level. If you room has a different temperature, you might experience difficulty in getting some rest. It is best for your room temperature not to exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit and not lower than 54 degrees Fahrenheit.
The ideal temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Apart from adjusting your room temperature, you can also take a hot bath or shower, which will raise your body temperature. As soon as you leave the bath, it will drop and signal you to go to bed.
Just make sure you wear socks, because your feet often have the poorest circulation. Doing so will reduce the coldness that your feet will feel. Studies also report that this can lessen the occurrence of sleepwalking.
What You Can Do When You Have Sleep Problems
When plagued with sleep problems, some people immediately resort to sleeping pills or medications. This is not advisable, as there are many adverse effects associated with these drugs. Before resorting to this extreme measure, you should first explore natural options – those that entail changing certain things in your lifestyle. This is definitely the safer and healthier option.
Here are some things you can do to sleep better:
- Avoid eating foods rich in sugar and starch. These foods will make your blood sugar rise and make you unable to sleep. When it drops later on, you may wake up and find it difficult to go back to bed.
- Don’t watch TV before going to bed. It will stimulate your brain too much, making it hard to sleep.
- Go to bed early. It is advisable to sleep by 10 p.m. to give way to your body’s recovery processes. Your body often does most of its healing between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.
- If you should eat, consume foods rich in protein. You should do this several hours before you go to bed. This can provide L-tryptophan, which is essential in the production of melatonin and serotonin.
Stefan Morillez is very familiar with sleep problems because of his lifestyle and family. Because of his work, he is required to work night shifts. He is often sick and unable to sleep because of this. He researches various methods to help him recover from this problem. What he finds, he makes sure he shares with other people. Stefan, a huge fan of Dr. Mercola also writes about his journey to sleep recovery in his personal blog.