The inevitability of a few sleepless nights a month is a reality for most people today. Whether it be because you are taking care of your sick child, tossing and turning from a stressful day at the office, or your partner is snoring loudly next to you, you’ll wake up groggy but manage to survive till the evening.
But what happens when it’s not just twice or three times a month but twice or three times a week? You tell yourself that it’s just temporary, that you will cut back on hours at the office, that you will start making sleep a priority, but nothing is changing and you are waking up more and more unhappy each day. This is because the right amount of sleep is crucial for clearer thinking, better mood, and overall health, to name a few.
Not only are you compromising your immune system from lack of “quiet” sleep (the deepest state of sleep where body temperature drops, muscles relax, and heart rates slow), studies have shown that a lack of REM sleep depletes ones ability to learn and remember, as well as poses a negative effect on mental health.
Clearly, a consistent lack of sleep over time is detrimental to both ones mental and physical health. But thankfully there are ways to counteract the negative cycle of poor sleeping habits by making minor changes to your lifestyle. By simply cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, making exercise part of our regular routine, and keeping the bedroom free from distractions (computers, etc), one can drastically improve their ability to sleep soundly through the night.