Approximately 41% of adults in the US sleep six hours or even less every night. This puts them at risk of serious health effects like obesity and heart disease besides fatal drowsy driving associated to lack of sleep. Listed below are 3 major things that can impact your sleep pattern greatly.
1. Eating a large meal right before bed time
Consuming lots of fluids or gorging on a large meal right before you hit the pillow is the perfect recipe for killing your sleep. There’s nothing like a heavy stomach or full bladder that can disrupt your sleep. Your sound rest will be interrupted if you get up frequently to urinate. When you eat excessively before going to sleep, it can lead to discomfort and make it extremely difficult for your body to settle down and relax. Heavy meals close to bedtime can also provoke symptoms of heartburn, which is a condition that results in a sensation of burning behind the breastbone or in the middle of the upper stomach. This condition is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
2. Electronics in your bedroom
Electronics have now become a necessary part of our life. We are able to remain engaged with the outer world from the privacy and comfort of our own homes. However, in doing so, we are kind of exposed to the light emitted by our gadgets. According to a study carried out by the National Sleep Foundation, 39% of US citizens use their cell phones every night religiously. People below the age of 30 have been seen to be greatly impacted by technology as far as their sleep is concerned. Researchers at Penn State University found that people using hand held devices, especially at night, have low levels of melatonin-a hormone which normally increases in the evening and assists to induce sleepiness. As a result, they take a relatively prolonged time to fall asleep.
3. Consuming coffee or tea before sleeping
Sleep in humans is greatly affected by caffeine. The most prominent effects of coffee on sleep include shorter total sleep time, prolonged sleep latency, trimming of deep sleep time and frequent awakenings. The average half life of caffeine is approximately 5 hours, indicating that you’ll still be having 25% of the first dose rolling around in your belly 10 hours following consumption. Plus, in some people caffeine does not get metabolized easily, leaving them feeling with the effects even longer after drinking. Similarly, drinking tea right before bedtime can keep you up all through the night. Foods like chocolate and soda contain high levels of caffeine which can kill your sleep too.
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