More than 1/3 of adults in developed countries don’t obtain the amount of sleep they need. The hours have been decreasing with the increasing years. The average night’s sleep was 8-9 hours in 1960, but it dropped to 7 hours in 1995.
Sleep is considered a foundation of health. It helps store memories, protects our organs, regulates hormones, regulates our immune system, affects blood sugar and our mood.
Keeping a consistent bedtime is important. As we age we get less deep sleep and more REM. Deep sleep occurs more at the beginning of the night, while REM occurs more at the end. This means that if we go to bed a couple hours later than usual, we aren’t getting as much systemic regulation, and if we wake up a couple hours earlier than usual, we aren’t going to have as much emotion self-control in the morning. Plus, our bodies thrive on routines, it makes going to bed and getting up so much easier!
Coffee may seem like a quick fix in the morning for sleepless nights, but really it’s delaying the inevitable. Its molecular structure is similar to adenosine, which creates our need for sleep and is produced after a sleepless night. When coffee binds, adenosine cannot. However, it doesn’t disappear. It hangs around until the receptor is free and the screams, “MINE!” That’s what we know of as a caffeine crash.
You’ve heard not to watch screen time before bed? How the blue light effects your melatonin, which raises when it’s time to go to bed? Well screens can cause the hangover effect where avoiding it can effect your melatonin for days after. Try avoiding it for two hours before bed for one week to experience how much screens are effecting your ability to sleep.