Getting Rid of Your Sleep Debt
By Donna Stark
Do you choose to sleep less so you can spend more time at night scrolling through social media or watching TV? Are you experiencing brain fog, daytime fatigue, impaired memory, increased sickness, or uncontrollable mood swings? If so, you may be in debt! Sleep debt that is. Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of rest your body requires and the amount you actually deliver to it. It is quite a serious thing to live with because it can cause irreversible damage to your overall health and wellness. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to get your sleep back on track and improve the quality of your life. Take a look at a few suggestions below.
Follow a Consistent Routine
Creating a schedule for sleep and sticking to it is the best way to start repaying your sleep debt. It's important to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. Try to schedule at least seven hours of sleep each night, or more if you need it. If it has been a while since you have slept that amount of time, and you are worried about the transition, take gradual steps with this new routine. Many people find success by moving their bedtime up in 15-minute increments. Keep doing that until you can fit in a complete seven hours.
Naps may be just what you need until you get caught up on your rest, but be careful with doing so! Too much napping can actually disrupt your new sleeping schedule. The window for catching up on your sleep closes fairly quickly so make sure you set aside time as soon as you can, preferably the day after a bad night of sleep. Keep your naps short (no longer than 30 minutes) and get up as soon as they are over.
Stop Screen Time Before Bed
The blue light emitted from electronic devices has been proven to disrupt quality sleep by slowing the production of the body's sleep hormone. To prevent this, you can invest in a pair of glasses or a screen that blocks the blue light, but the most effective way to improve your sleep is to simply turn your devices off. It is generally recommended that you do so at least an hour before you head to bed.
Getting Rid of Your Debt
Don't make the mistake of thinking you will catch up on your sleep over the weekend. Although it does seem like an ideal solution, doing so isn't always effective. So, instead, start chipping away at your sleep deprivation with the tips above. You may end up surprising yourself with how easy it is to start feeling better!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Parma, Ohio.