World Sleep Day is celebrated on March 17, and it is a time when awareness of sleep health is created. We often hear medical experts stress the importance of sleep. After all, if we sleep poorly, it can interfere with our normal mental, physical, emotional, and social functioning. While some may have a disorder, others may blame poor sleep habits for a poor night’s sleep. It’s time to break bad sleeping habits if you want to be healthy. Find out how you can spot unhealthy habits.
HealthShots consulted Dr. Navneet Sood, Senior Consultant in Respirology and Sleep Medicine at Dharamshila Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Delhi, to learn all about unhealthy sleep habits.
Importance of eight hours of sleep each night
Doctors always suggest people get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Indeed, sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being, says Dr. Sood. When you sleep, your body functions by repairing and regenerating itself. Your brain consolidates memories and processes information.
As for chronic sleep deprivation, it has been linked to health problems like:
• Heart disease
Bad sleeping habits
If you have bad sleeping habits, you should avoid them. Here are a few:
1. Use electronic devices before bed
The blue light emitted by electronic devices like smartphones, computers and tablets can suppress the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, and disrupt the circadian rhythm, explains the expert. This can reduce the quality of your sleep and prevent you from falling asleep.
2. Consuming caffeine at the end of the day
Drink caffeine before sleeping? Don’t, as it’s a stimulant that can interfere with sleep, so it’s best taken in the morning. Drinking coffee, tea, or soda late in the day can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
3. Irregular sleep schedule
Going to bed and waking up at different times each day can disrupt the circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep and wake up. It is important to maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
4. Eat large meals before bedtime
Eating a large meal before bed can cause discomfort and make it harder to fall asleep. It is recommended to have dinner at least a few hours before bedtime.
5. Exercising too close to bedtime
Exercise can help promote sleep, but doing vigorous exercise too close to bedtime can make it harder to fall asleep. So, finish the exercise at least a few hours before bedtime.
Tips to improve sleep quality
People can improve their sleep by doing the following:
1. Establish a consistent sleep schedule
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, can help regulate circadian rhythms and improve sleep quality.
2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine
Taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to soothing music can help calm your mind and prepare your body for sleep.
4. Create a comfortable sleeping environment
Sleeping in a cool, dark, quiet room can promote better sleep. It’s also a good idea to invest in a comfortable mattress and pillow.
5. Avoid stimulating activities before bedtime
Avoid using electronic devices and consuming caffeine before bedtime to promote better sleep.
6. Exercise regularly
Regular physical activity can help improve the quality and duration of sleep. It is recommended to do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, but not too close to bedtime, explains the expert.
7. Manage stress
Stress and anxiety can interfere with sleep, so practice relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing.
You can try these ways to have a good sleep, but if you still find it difficult, it is better to talk to your doctor to avoid complications.
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