Our sleep quality is affected by daily activities that interact with our hormone and chemical production. The balance of these can change how our bodies and minds operate, even during slumber. Changing these three most common habits can greatly improve your quality of rest, in turn, improving your day.
Studies have shown that small amounts of caffeine may give your brain a little boost in alertness throughout the day. However, too much caffeine can affect your ability to complete the necessary sleep cycles your body needs to function properly. It is important to cut caffeine usage off in the early afternoon to avoid any negative affects it may have on your sleep. Those that are sensitive to caffeine should experiment with much earlier cut off times. Watch out for hidden caffeine as well in chocolate, teas, and even medications.
Alcohol can have VERY negative affects on getting enough REM sleep. It is a central nervous system depressant that slows down brain activity. While some people report that alcohol helps them fall asleep, it causes sleep disruption throughout the night interfering with the body’s ability to reach and maintain REM. You want to cut off any alcohol intake too close to bedtime to avoid any sleep disruption. Watch out for hidden alcohol in some vitamins, cold medicines, and yeast breads.
Blue light screens can have an adverse effect on our ability to get proper rest. The screens on our phones, tablets, and televisions can signal to our brains that it’s still day time. This may reduce your ability to fall asleep easily. Limiting the use of these devices in the evening hours may have a tremendous affect on your ability to sleep well.