How would you feel if something precious, irreplaceable and cherished was stolen right from under you – terrible, right? Think about when you lose a treasured night’s sleep – or when it’s stolen. You wake up grumpy, sad and have trouble getting through your day. On the flipside, when you can’t fall asleep you become frustrated and stressed.
Sleep thieves prowl around us constantly. And, sadly, we let them.
You might remember a time when you could drift off to sleep in an instant and remain in a state of blissful slumber well past lunchtime the next day. Now your sleep is more likely to be lighter and more fitful, and when you wake up in the morning you might not always feel refreshed.
2. Caffeine. Drinking coffee might be your preferred way to finish your evening meal or deliver a much-needed perk in the afternoon. But coffee later in the day may also be sabotaging your sleep. Consuming caffeine 3 and even 6 hours before bed can reduce total sleep time by more than 1 hour each night. Try cutting off your caffeine intake at 3:00 pm and avoid energy drinks in the evenings. Swap out caffeine for tea after dinner.
3. Work – Ever feel that work never ends? If endlessly checking emails in bed has become your routine, it’s time to take back your personal life. Try checking work emails once or twice after dinner and then witching your phone to sleep mode at least an hour before going to bed. If after-hours responses have become the norm, it might be time for a heart-to-heart with your boss regarding after hours communication protocol.
4. Alcohol. We’ve all experienced how alcohol can convincee you’re the greatest dancer of all time. But it does the same trick with sleep. You might fall asleep faster after a few drinks but alcohol disrupts your body’s normal sleep patterns – and can leave you feeling dehydrated in the morning. Mixing any amount of alcohol with sleep can cause problems, say the experts. Might be time to rethink your nightly nightcap…
5. Money Worries – Are you waking in the middle of the night, freaking out about bills and money stresses? Money is one of the top issues that couples argue about and sleep is lost over. No one enjoys dreaming about high insurance premiums and tuition bills – right? Try scheduling a time to work on finances such as in the morning or after dinner.
6. Your smartphone – Your brain needs time to relax and adjust for sleep. The blue light blazing from our phones wrecks our sleep especially when we enter REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. We dare you to shut off your phone, use a real alarm clock or charge your phone across the phone overnight.
Now that we know the things that stole our sleep, let us put in mind that not getting enough sleep can have negative impacts on our mental and physical health. Sleep is essential - It is as important to our bodies as eating, drinking and breathing, and is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health. Sleeping helps us to recover from mental as well as physical exertion.