Do you have trouble sleeping? Many Americans, as much as an estimated 40% have problems either falling asleep or staying asleep. Sleep is an essential time when the body repairs itself and regulates hormones. With so many people not getting good sleep it’s no surprise many chronic diseases are on the rise.
Despite all we know about sleep these 3 things get very little mention even though they are well known sleep destroyers!
Caffeine- yep our good buddy caffeine is the #1 reason people struggle with sleep. The half life of caffeine, or the time it takes for your body to metabolize half of the amount consumed is very long. Depending on the person a single cup of coffee can take 7-9 hours to completely clear the system. What happens if you drink 3 cups? 6? 9? The point is you can have lots of caffeine in your system long after your last caffeinated beverage. Keep it to one cup a day and before noon and you wont have to worry about caffeine keeping you up.
Blue Lights- This translates to TV’s, smart phones, computers and other diode based electronics. The light emitted by these devices triggers the pineal gland to stop the secretion of melatonin, which normally happens as it gets dark outside, which in turn prevents you from feeling sleepy. This is why watching TV before bed is such an aweful idea. To make sure you do not have any trouble caused by blue light emissions turn off electronics at least 1 hour before bed.
Under-eating- Yes you read that correctly! Not eating enough for dinner, especially carbohydrates, can keep you up at night and prevent you from falling deeply asleep. Eating carbs at dinner time rises blood sugar for about an hour or 2. After that the subsequent falling of blood sugar causes you to get sleepy. This allows the body to shift more easily into sleep and reach the deeper levels of sleep needed to fully restore the body.
Making sure these 3 things are not keeping you awake at night will go a long ways towards improving sleep. For more information or to schedule an appointment to help set up a sleep plan call our office at 715-246-7500 or 715-265-7500.