In today’s bustling economy and demanding work-force, more and more Americans are not getting anywhere near adequate sleep, complain of insomnia, restless syndromes, and in turn are not properly energized or ‘fully away’ for studies, work, and other activities. This directly impacts the health, in a multitude of negative ways. In fact, according to the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as half of all Americans are not well-rested on a daily basis. This is a very concerning statistic, and in turn negatively impacts not only the national, but also the global workforce, and how effective such systems, government, NGO, and other company-workers perform.
Fighting restlessness does not have to be an impossible problem to cope with or treat. In fact, as opposed to relying on over-the-counter drugs or “natural substances” or occurring chemicals in the body, such as Melatonin, there are a few rather “easy” life changes that you can make and begin to experience the positive changes from almost immediately. Let’s take a look at some of the most common unhealthy habits that are more often than not, responsible for a lack of sleep, or total-loss of rest when combined.
Alcohol and Sleep
Contrary to popular belief, that handful of beers, multiple glasses of wine, or shots you might take before sleep are in-fact not so good for your health, nor are they positive for more consistent sleeping routines–and results. In fact, once alcohol wears off, it has been scientifically proven to interrupt and destroy sleep, specifically the REM process, and chemically alters your body both temporarily and permanently in a multitude of negative ways—in particular the brain. So, consider doing a bit less drinking and a lot more preparation and sleeping—your body deserves it!
Consistent Schedule and Eating
Believe it or not, including via your biological clock, you are more than capable and often do it without notice—to control, program, and condition your mind and body for a sort of ‘sleep-routine’ on a daily basis. In fact, overeating, not eating enough, and unhealthy or excessive snacking before or near sleep has shown to negatively impact the body’s ability to begin winding down, adequately prepare for rest, and in turn negatively impact your health—or ‘recharge’.
Stop the Naps and Know When it’s time to Sleep
Unhealthy habits or patterns of napping in the day time or early evening can easily disrupt, disable, and destroy healthy sleeping patterns or the ability to sleep. Scientifically, at maximum, a 30 minute nap is more than adequate for a fast ‘recharge’. Anything longer then this, is indeed, counterintuitive to your total energy levels and sleep schedule.
Lastly, consider the benefits and practicality behind initiating and following a standard bed-time routine on a regular basis. Don’t confuse your body and brain by keeping lights on, playing on the computer, etc. In fact, even running and glancing—not even fully watching—a television can make it nearly impossible to fall asleep, as all of the aforementioned activities or decisions either directly interfere with, or demand processing by the brain which should otherwise have been focused on resting and sleep.
Image credit: Rui Santos