Ever wonder why you can’t sleep fast?
So you say you can’t sleep well, and you don’t know why, because you feel good and do all the right things in your life to get a decent night’s sleep. What you don’t know is that you actually don’t do the things that are conducive to getting a solid eight hours, with those needed spurts of rapid eye movement. There are things you do that you are not even aware of that effect you getting the requisite hours in deep sleep mode, and today we are going to tell you what you’re doing wrong.
The Era of sleep deprivation and what it experts reveals
So first of all, you’re not alone. Did you know that in the USA it’s reported that a whopping 60 percent of people have trouble sleeping most nights or even every night? That’s according to the National Sleep Foundation and when it comes to sleep deprivation this organization knows what it’s talking about.
The same study tells us that 43 % of those people rarely or never get a good night’s sleep, well, at least people aged 13 to 64. A lot of those folks say they don’t even get six hours’ sleep a night, and the word on the street is we should get seven to nine hours if we want to feel good.
The effects of sleep deprivation era is here, and there is one big reason why we seem to be sleeping less. The reason is technology, with the National Sleep Foundation reporting that 95 percent of people use an electronic gadget of some kind right before bed.
Gadgets and effects on sleep deprivation
You watch series or videos just before you intend to sleep? But we are not just talking about phones, TVs are included in the list of gadgets. This is what one expert said about gadget use before bed, “Artificial light exposure between dusk and the time we go to bed at night suppresses the release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, enhances alertness and shifts circadian rhythms to a later hour—making it more difficult to fall asleep.
” We are not saying don’t use gadgets, but perhaps if you want to get your eight hours and drift off quickly you might think about not looking at a screen for the two hours before you intend to sleep.
Using laptops and phones before going to bed
Around 60 percent of people in one study said they use their laptop or phone right before they go to bed, and some of them play computer games which are really not conducive to making yourself tired. Another sleep expert said this about that, “Over the last 50 years, we’ve seen how television viewing has grown to be a near constant before bed, and now we are seeing new information technologies such as laptops, cell phones, video games, and music devices rapidly gaining the same status.”
You might think it doesn’t affect you at all, but according to those experts it does and there’s data to back that up. We should add that the artificial light theory about keeping us awake is controversial and so more research needs to be done.
Phone alerts are the culprit
According to studies a lot of Americans leave their phone alerts on during the night, and one in ten people interviewed said their phone woke them up during the night at times. Just turn off the alerts, it’s simple to do.
The problem these days is that many people have online friends all over the world, so when you’re trying to sleep in the UK your friends in the USA are sending you photos of kittens on Facebook Messenger. You might have a client in Asia who keeps posting stuff about work to you when you’re trying to sleep in Canada. You may wake up and not know why, but often it’s because something went down in that phone of yours.
Teenagers are mostly affected by not getting a good sleep
Another study said younger folks were terrible at this, saying that 72 percent of American kids aged 6-17 go to bed with their phone. In the past kids might have slept with a furry bear or a book, and those things don’t make any noise. Why do people these days feel they need to sleep with their phone? What’s so important that it can’t wait?
Are you really that addicted to the thing?
Technology is what keeping you awake
Co-founder of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, has said in interviews that this tech addiction is a major issue and is affecting the mental health of people. She said the parents are often as bad as the kids, so they need to start setting a better example. She talks about the dopamine hits we get from technology, and so scrolling through Facebook right before bed is not a good idea.
When she sleeps there is no technology in her room at all. You might also get stressed by looking at social media before bedtime. You really don’t want to get a shot of envy right before you try and fall asleep.
“Oh, look, there’s my friend on the beach in some country I can’t afford to go to.” This is not what you want in your head before you try and fall asleep.
No electronic screen at least 2hrs before bedtime
Our advice is simple. Do not look at any electronic screens at least 2hrs before bedtime. You might not believe it, but it’s negatively affecting your sleep cycle. If you’re a parent, don’t allow tech in your kids’ bedrooms.
If you’re a kid, wise up and turn that stuff off. Show some self-control …and if we are starting to sound like we are giving you a lecture, we should say that we only just started doing this ourselves. We can tell you that we started to sleep better.
What else can affect your sleep besides gadgets?
Now let’s say you don’t use electronic gadgets but still can’t sleep. You are not depressed or particularly stressed and so don’t know what the problem is. You haven’t just fallen in love or lost a job. You’re fine, but sleeping is hard work for you.
You know, it could be those coffees you are having in the evening, or perhaps those cups of tea. We know those British folks love their tea and quite a few of them will have a “cuppa” in the evening, perhaps with their “supper”.
We know this because we’ve seen it firsthand. That cup of the finest Tetley’s tea could actually be keeping those Brits awake. That cappuccino from Starbucks the American had at 7 pm could ruin that person’s sleep. This is the lowdown on the drug caffeine. Once you’ve had your hit you’ll peak around 30 to 60 minutes later.
That buzz will then plateau, but caffeine has a half-life of five to six hours, meaning this is the time it takes for your body to get rid of half of the drug. You’ll still have some caffeine in your system for hours after that.
Consuming caffeine before going to bed
Now, as you know, it’s not as if caffeine can be compared to a substance such as ice, the illegal kind, but it is a stimulant. And we should say that Americans love the stuff, perhaps just as much as those Brits love their tea. One study we found said this,
“The average daily consumption of caffeine by adults in the U.S. is about 300 mg per person. This is about three times higher than the world average. But it is still only half of the caffeine consumption in heavy tea-drinking countries such as England and Sweden.” Some people like coffee too much, and while there are many positive effects to having that shot of espresso, you can go overboard. In extreme cases, believe it or not, people have died from overdosing on caffeine. In less extreme cases people just feel wired. That might not be so bad in the morning, but at night time it can be a nightmare.
Take away to sleep well
Sugar, carbs, and fats are the worst things to eat late, so perhaps we’ll forgive you for having one small bite of a banana. This is the conclusion of one article we found, “Eating during bedtime hours – whether it’s a large dinner or a small snack while watching your favorite TV show — while it may seem to help you fall asleep, may actually harm your overall health and metabolism, creating added stress inside the body.”
So, there you go. If you are healthy and not suffering from some physical or mental disease this might be the reason you are not sleeping well. It’s really simple advice to follow. Just turn off your gadgets two hours before bed.
Don’t consume caffeine at least six hours before bed and don’t eat before you sleep.
If indeed you are reading this at midnight with your mouth full of chocolate being cement-mixed with Coca-Cola you are basically creating a perfect storm of bad sleep. Or do you disagree? Tell us what you think in the comments. Also, be sure to like, share with your friends and colleagues who can’t sleep at night
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