Sleep is a valuable resource for your health. In fact, research on sleep continually and consistently reveals that a lack of sleep is associated with a wealth of health problems, including trouble losing weight, poor immune health, and memory loss. A recent report shows that getting six hours of sleep per night makes you four times more likely to catch a cold than those who get seven or more hours of nightly sleep! With cold and flu season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to evaluate whether you are forming healthy sleep habits, and if you have any of the following bad habits, it could be time to rethink the way you sleep.
Catching up on sleep
Many people believe you can make up for lost hours of sleep during the week by sleeping in on the weekends, but this pattern is actually detrimental to your sleep schedule. Ideally, you should not only be getting about 7-8 hours of sleep each night, but you should also be sleeping on the same schedule every day. Which means that you should have the same bed time and wake time on the weekend as you do on the weekdays.
Sleeping with the TV on
If you have gotten used to sleeping with the TV on it might seem impossible to fall asleep without the ambient noise of the television in the background. However, the excess light and noise of the TV can actually reduce the quality of your sleep and make it harder to get to sleep in the first place. Keeping the television and other electronics out of your bedroom will result in more restful sleep every night.
Having a drink to get to sleep
While one drink might make you feel sleepy, it is not a good idea to rely on a night cap to help you fall asleep. When your body is busy processing alcohol, you will not achieve an ideal sleep cycle. The same goes for sugar, so skip the midnight snack if you want to wake up feeling rested.
Hitting the snooze button
When you just don’t want to wake up in the morning, the snooze button can be a tempting prospect, but adding 10 minutes of sleep will not do you much good through the course of your day. You are best off getting up the first time you wake up, since the interrupted sleep you get between hitting the snooze button can actually make you feel even more tired.
If you are concerned about your sleep habits or you are experiencing extreme daytime fatigue, connect with a physician day or night with MeMD.