While you may already know that sleep is important, there are some facts about sleep that may surprise you. From the most common causes of insomnia to the damaging effects of screen time, we’ve rounded up ten sleep facts that could help you get a better night’s sleep.
If you’ve ever wondered if the 2:00 energy crash was a myth, we have answers to all of your burning sleep questions. This guide has some fun sleep facts as well as tricks to make your sleep more rejuvenating and restful.
1. Regular Exercise Leads to Better Sleep
We all know that exercise is great for more than just weight loss. Aside from your waistline, exercising regularly can also lead to better sleep. A regular exercise schedule will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep during the night.
If you exercise more sporadically or right before bed, you may find it hard to fall asleep right away. If you don’t normally exercise and decide to take it up, you could find yourself with too much adrenaline right before bed. Luckily, this subsides as you workout more and get into a routine.
2. The Real Problem with Insomnia
The problem with insomnia may surprise you. While you may think, taking a long time to fall asleep is the worst part, the other effects can be harder to deal with.
In addition to being unable to fall asleep, you may experience headaches, trouble concentrating, irritability, and drowsiness. This can make it hard to get through the workday.
3. It’s True, You Are More Tired After Lunch
Almost everyone has experienced that tired feeling after you eat a big lunch. Shortly after getting back to your desk, you start to feel the afternoon slump. When 2:00 hits, you may start to feel less alert and more tired.
The reason for this is that tiredness actually peaks at 2:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. each day. While you’re asleep at 2:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. falls right in the middle of the afternoon.
4. Too Much Screen Time Can Make It Hard to Fall Asleep
When you’re starring at a computer screen all day and then also using your phone, tablet, and watching TV, it can take a toll on your sleep patterns. Too much screen time can affect the melatonin levels in your body.
Melatonin is what signals to your body that it is time for sleep. This hormone is naturally put out by your body to make you feel drowsy. Sunlight and darkness signal to your body that it is time to get ready for bed or to wake up.
The light emitted by your phone or the television can make it hard for your body to shut down. If you sleep with your cell phone, try and shut it off about 30 minutes before you’d like to be asleep.
5. When You Can’t Get Out of Bed
While everyone has had a morning where they don’t want to get out of bed, this could be a sign of a more serious problem. If you have trouble waking up in the morning, depression, anxiety, or not enough sleep could be to blame.
If you’re concerned it is due to anxiety or depression, consult your doctor. Mental health can have a profound impact on the quality of your sleep.
If you’re too tired in the morning try going to sleep earlier. Pushing your bedtime earlier each night can help you get a little more sleep every day. Think of going to bed early like you’re treating yourself sleeping in.
6. Lack of Sleep Causes Weight Gain
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you could be slowing down your metabolism. A lack of sleep can cause you to overeat and seek energy from the wrong types of foods. Instead of getting a good night of sleep, you reach for caffeine, candy, and sweets.
While it is easy to have a donut instead of getting more sleep, try and make sleep a priority. The better you sleep, the better your body is able to regulate your energy levels. This could help you lose or maintain your weight.
7. 24-Hour Internet Access Is Harming Sleep
With access to the internet all day and night, many people are having a hard time shutting down. It isn’t hard to tell why insomnia is so common. Instead of laying your head down and going right to sleep, you might have the habit of opening up social media.
It’s easy to go to social media for a few minutes and end up staying on for an hour. TV streaming services are also designed to suck you in.
8. Babies and Kids Need Wind Down Time Too
As with adults, it can take some time to get a child to wind down and go to sleep. As much as you want your baby to shut down and sleep after a long day, you need to give them some time to unwind.
When it comes to bedtime, give them enough time to calm their mind and body before sleep. This time can be spent in a quiet bath, reading, telling stories, or just pillow talk.
Being in a dark room with the shades drawn will signal to your child’s body that it is time to sleep. With a few extra minutes of quiet, screen-free downtime before bed, your child should fall asleep easier.
9. The Cause of Your Insomnia May Surprise You
If you’re having trouble at work, in a relationship, or with managing stress, this can be harmful to your sleep. Insomnia can be caused by a wide variety of reasons. Stress is one of the most common culprits.
If you’re struggling with insomnia, try and get your stress levels down. Before bed, read a book, stretch, take a shower, or sit without a screen, in a dim room and meditate.
10. Is Falling Asleep Quickly a Problem?
If you can fall asleep really quickly, this could be a sign that you’re overtired. When you’re utterly exhausted, you may be able to fall asleep within minutes.
If this sounds like you, try and get more sleep. Take breaks throughout the day and go to sleep earlier. Whenever you can, focus on catching up on sleep.
These Surprising Sleep Facts Can Lead to Better Sleep
This round-up of sleep facts is designed to help you get a better night’s sleep. Sleep is the key to maintaining your energy levels, weight, and alertness. The better you sleep, the better you’ll feel.
If you’re all about sleep, make it a priority. You’ll be far less likely to over caffeinate and reach for a sweet treat when that afternoon slump hits. If you’re concerned about a sleep problem, fill out the contact form here to get in touch with a holistic and naturopathic doctor who can help.