Do I Need More Sleep?
If you are like many people leading busy, stressful lives the topic of sleep (or lack thereof) may be on your mind. If so, how do you know if you need more sleep? What signs do you look for?
What people don't realize is that it's not the amount of hours you sleep, but rather the quality of sleep that's important; lack of sleep may impact your overall health and well-being which can lead to physical and mental health issues. Just because you sleep 8 hours a night does not mean you are ok.
Sleep plays a vital role in your overall bodily functions both physically and mentally. It can also be a risk factor in obesity, making weight loss very difficult for some. It is known that 50-70 million Americans suffer from insomnia, which can lead to various health issues if left untreated. Sleep is the time for your body to rest and repair so its even more important to allow your body to heal its self. If you describe your quality of sleep as "ok," take a look at the signs below to determine if you need to re-evaluate your sleeping patterns.
Signs You Need More Sleep
1. Lack of Energy: Waking up fatigued despite sleeping 8 hours a night. Struggling to stay awake during the day.
2. Restless Sleep or Insomnia: Having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Tossing and turning throughout the night.
4. Frequent Colds: You can't seem to shake off a basic cold and continuously have the sniffles.
5. Changes in Mood: Your mood seems to fluctuate throughout the day, often times feeling irritable and your tolerance level is low.
6. Use of Substances: You find yourself seeking stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine or even illicit drugs. You may even start taking sleep medications.
7. Appetite: You either lose appetite or are overly hungry.
Tips for Better Sleep
One of the first steps in combating sleep issues is understanding why you are having problems to begin with. Keeping a sleep journal is a great way to start. Pay attention to patterns as these will give you signs of what the trouble may be. Keep track of what time you go to bed and what time you wake up each day. If you are restless or wake up in the middle of the night, take note of what time it is. You'll also want to jot down what activities you are engaging in before you go to bed or what kind of day you had. Stress can play a major factor, as well as, the type of food you are consuming. Once you narrow down reasons that maybe causing your issues, you can start tackling the problem. If nothing seems to be working, you should always consult with a medical doctor to rule out any underlying health issues.
1. Don't perform any hard exercise 1-2 hours prior to sleeping
2. Don't eat 1-2 hours before bed
3. Don't have your phone or be on the internet before bed
4. Keep stress at a minimum
5. Practice regular self-care
6. Practice stress management techniques including meditation, walking, listing to music, journaling.
What stress management techniques do you use? Leave your comments below!
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