Do you sleep as soundly as this little guy?
Do you wake up feeling rested?
Are you getting enough sleep?
If you answered no to any of these questions, read on.
Sleep deprivation is a known cause of metabolic syndrome and obesity. There are many medical issues that can contribute to sleep deprivation, including:
- obstructive sleep apnea
- medications (stimulants)
There are many lifestyle issues that can contribute to sleep deprivation:
- too much stress
- caffeine – it can take up to 50 hours for caffeine to leave your system after ingestion
- alcohol – though it may make you feel sleepy, it has a rebound effect that may disrupt sleep later in the night
- not enough physical activity/exercise
- not giving yourself enough time in bed to get enough hours in the first place
Population studies show that the optimum amount of sleep is 7.7 hours (though this will vary from person to person). Less or more than this is associated with an increased risk of a long list of adverse health issues and outcomes: diabetes, obesity, and even (bluntly put) earlier death.
What can you to do improve your sleep hygiene?
- give yourself enough time in bed to get enough sleep
- make your sleep environment cool, dark, and quiet
- be active/exercise (but not right before bed)
- minimize caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
- calming activities before bed
- avoid big meals before bed (heartburn or discomfort may keep you up)
- avoid napping
- get tested for sleep apnea if you have any symptoms
- avoid blue light from your electronic devices
- decrease the stress in your life (easier said than done, I know…ahh…if we could all have a puppy’s life!)
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