6 Surprising Reasons You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep
Are you hitting the snooze every morning? Chances are, you aren’t getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is so common that most of us have forgotten what it feels like to wake up well rested. Adults should be getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, but over 25% of adults fall short of recommended guidelines every night. If sleep deprivation becomes chronic, it has been shown to carry possible health risks, including diabetes, obesity, hypertension, stroke and depression.1 2 3
Are you sabotaging your sleep at night with these bad sleep habits?
- Sleeping in on weekends — If you feel sleep deprived, it’s tempting to sleep in or take long naps on your days off. However, this disrupts your sleep schedule and can make it harder to get enough sleep during the week. Try to stick to the same sleeping and waking schedule every day of the week. If staying up late on weekends is too hard to pass up, opt for just one night of staying up late instead of the whole weekend.
- Your evening run — Exercise is a good thing, except when it’s too close to bedtime. When you exercise, your adrenaline levels shoot up, which can interfere with a good night’s sleep. Experts recommend avoiding strenuous exercise for 2–3 hours before bed. A gentle walk or a midnight swim might be okay if it helps you unwind, but avoid working out hard before bedtime.
- Checking your phone just before bed — The light emitted by electronics mimics sunrise and can interfere with the body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that naturally causes you to fall asleep. Give yourself some time to unwind without electronics before you nod off.
- Over-napping — A short nap can be helpful for many people, but naps longer than 30 minutes can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. The timing of your nap needs to be right, too. Napping late in the afternoon or in the evening can interfere with sleep.
- Taking medications at the wrong time of day — Many medications can interfere with sleep. Check with your pharmacist or doctor to make sure that you’re taking prescription medication at the right time of day to encourage restful sleep.
- Working up until bedtime — Whether you’re working late on a report, paying bills or doing housework in the evenings, give yourself a break every night. Stressful, demanding or high-energy activities should end an hour before you go to bed. Even if you’re a high achiever, it’s important to schedule some winding down time in the evening for optimal rest and higher productivity the next day.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1Palagini, L., Bruno, R., Gemignani, A., Baglioni, C., Ghiadoni, L., & Riemann, D. (2012). Sleep loss and hypertension: A systematic review. Current pharmaceutical design., 19(13), 2409–19. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23173590
2Knutson, K., & Cauter, V. (2008). Associations between sleep loss and increased risk of obesity and diabetes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences., 1129, 287–304. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18591489
3Chorney, D. B., Detweiler, M. F., Morris, T. L., & Kuhn, B. R. (2008). The interplay of sleep disturbance, anxiety, and depression in children. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 33(4), 339–348. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsm105