Sleep Stealers…and How to Catch Them!
What are sleep stealers? They’re the things or the habits which can rob you of your much needed sleep and which contribute to your issues with feeling below par in the daytime and which can sometimes affect your health and general well-being. Looking at the reasons behind your lack of quality sleep is a great first step towards changing your life for the better.
So what constitutes a sleep stealer? Common factors in sleep stealers are things which stimulate the mind rather than helping it to turn off…so in addition to high caffeine drinks like tea and coffee, we can include spicy foods and sugary foods in our list; all of these things encourage the mind and body to stay awake rather than turn off.
It’s not only what we eat that we must stay aware of though…it’s the things which we expose ourselves to before and during bedtime which must be carefully controlled too. Computer monitors and televisions have a lot to answer for in terms of sleep stealing and this is due to the fact that they stimulate parts of the brain which need to be in a state of relaxation at bedtime.
Many people today spend far too long looking at screens; mobile phones, tablets, laptops and PCs in addition to televisions are guilty of stealing sleep even when we’re no longer using them. If you keep computers or other devices in your bedroom and fail to turn them off, then the glare emitted by them will be affecting the quality of your sleep…the brain needs complete darkness in order to fully shut down and that green glow in the corner? It’s not helping your brain to get any rest at all…in fact it’s going a long way towards ensuring that you wake up grumpy!
Practice good sleep hygiene even if you cannot totally avoid screen time in the evenings, you should ensure that you do stop looking at screens by 8.00pm if at all possible. Read a book or indulge in a hobby…play cards or sew…but don’t stare at a screen all night! If you’ve been using screens in the evening ensure that they are fully turned off before you turn in and your dreams will be far sweeter!
Test it out by attempting to go screen-free during the evenings for a week; if you can pull this off then it’s guaranteed that your quality of sleep will vastly improve. So much of our lives today revolve around screens that it’s interesting to see what happens when we turn them off…give it a try and you might be pleasantly surprised!
Tips to beat the sleep stealers…
- Limit your screen time to daylight hours only
- Turn off all devices which are kept in the bedroom
- Do something physical instead of using your devices in the evening
- Keep a sleep diary to help you to understand the effects of screens on your sleep
Try using UP by Jawbone. This handy little device not only tracks your sleep, including total hours, light versus deep sleep and the time it takes you to fall asleep; but it also tracks your waking activity such as steps taken, distance walked, calories burned and time spent idle! You can even log what you eat and drink using an Android app.
Sleep is everything to humans; next to water and oxygen it’s one of the most important factors in our lives and getting by on poor quality sleep is a bad habit which too many people are bound by. Making small but powerful changes to your lifestyle can improve your day to day performance at work or school and you won’t be the only one to notice the difference!
Friends and family will begin commenting on how different you look within weeks as well as noticing how much more effective you are in day to day tasks. The power of sleep is not to be underestimated and only you can change the way in which you control your sleeping habits…make the changes today and see the difference tomorrow.