By: Riaan van der Walt

Sleep Health:

This is both the most common lifestyle improvement that we all crave, and ironically, it is also the one that attracts the most bravado in sacrificing…Think back to banter you have had with friends and family on the topic, and you will remember a lot of people proudly bragging about their “sleep when you’re dead!” choices. So lets have a look at what happens when you try this.

 

Short Term Effects of Poor Sleep:

Most of these effects you could have guessed and most people would not be shocked to learn…

  • Your immune function drops (More sick more often)
  • You are hungrier
  • Most of us develop an attitude of entitlement (When you add this to being more hungry, you can guess what happens)
  • Your mood is more negative
  • Your concentration is poorer

 

Long Term Effects of Poor Sleep:

However, most of us are not aware of what happens if it is part of your normal life to lack sleep…

  • Your Stroke risk dramatically increases
  • Your risk of Diabetes increases
  • Your risk of some Cancers increase
  • Your risk of Depression increases
  • Obesity rates rise
  • Your risk of Heart Disease increases

 

So How Do We Fix It?

Dont’s:

  • Limit your coffee to 2 caffeinated cups per day.
  • Limit your screen time of any description in the last hour before bed.
  • Drink less, we all know alcohol makes us fall asleep, but your sleep depth is poorer.

 

Do’s

  • Use Light, Temperature and Sound to relax yourself in the evenings. Good examples are chilled music, warm showers, dim lights or candles.
  • Read a book in bed. This is a great sedative!
  • Exercise…this forces your body to sleep deeper.
  • Try to eat supper as early as is practical and don’t over eat in this meal. If your body is busy digesting for hours, you don’t sleep as well.

 

In Closing:

Changing your attitude and habits towards sleep can be the most noticeable difference in your quality of life, helping to improve almost everything that you think is important. so be honest with yourself about mistakes you make and where you can make some changes.

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