London, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/25/2014 -- Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia have been found to affect about a quarter of the UK population. While these need medical intervention, there are numerous cases when sleep deprivation is caused by bad habits and improper behavioral patterns. Watchfit expert Charlotte Harper reveals the top 6 sleep mistakes people make and how to deal with them.
She first points out the importance of sleep, which in today’s career-oriented environment many have started ignoring. Numerous studies and research give proof that the quality of sleep is directly related to one’s mental and physical health, overall wellbeing, quality of life, as well as safety. There is also a strong link between sleep deprivation and an increase in body weight, which in turn leads to an increased risk of obesity.
When sleep deprived, individuals in various studies have experienced disturbance in hormone levels. More specifically, a study in Chicago showed rising Ghrelin and falling Leptin levels, resulting in a 45% rise in cravings for high carb, calorie dense foods. Another study, carried out at Stanford University also demonstrated that those, who were continually sleep deprived had a larger percentage of fat mass, compared to those, who got 7 and more hours of quality sleep.
The evidence that sleep is of uppermost importance when it comes to physical and emotional health is indisputable. However, more and more people fall into the trap of making the following six sleep mistakes that hinder their health and wellbeing:
Going to bed very late and trying to catch up the next day. This largely disturbs one’s biological clock and thus their sleep patterns suffer as well. One should try to stick to the same regime over weekdays and weekends to establish a habit in which they stay asleep for the whole night.
Performing strenuous physical or mental work just before going to bed. TV, computer, and laptop screens have also shown to be one of the main causes of sleep deprivation, and should be avoided for a minimum of 1 hour before going to bed. A relaxing routine should be planned during that time that involves winding down and following the body’s natural need to relax during that time of the day.
Afternoon naps are another little-known cause of sleep deprivation. Power naps have built a good reputation of helping one get through the day with less caffeine, but if one wakes up during the night or finds it hard to fall asleep in the first place, these should be avoided.
Lack of exercise is another mistake people make that negatively affects their quality of sleep. Intense daily exercise works best, but moderate walks and fresh air will also contribute to improving one’s sleeping patterns.
Eating and drinking habits are another major cause of sleep deprivation. These include alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine effects can be noticed up to 8 hours after using it, and one should ideally finish their last meal 2-3 hours before going to bed.
The final major cause of sleep deprivation is the fact that many people use their bed for the wrong things, like working, reading, and watching TV. The bedroom should only be used for sleeping, which will strengthen the subconscious link between bed and sleep, and thus largely improve the quality of sleep.
The Watchfit expert finally points out that if all these have been taken care of, and a person still has a problem sleeping, they should see their doctor for a close examination of their sleep patterns and habits.
WatchFit is a wellness platform with an expanding library of top-quality material provided by health professionals, athletes, coaches and experts across various topics related to health, fitness performance and diet. Watchfit has recently launched a free app, providing entire plans by internationally renowned experts, Olympic medalists, and celebrity trainers, covering all fitness and dietary aims and goals.
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