5 Habits of Sleep Pros
At times, it can seem like everyone on Earth is getting plenty of sleep – but you. Some people have what it takes to drink two cups of coffee and still go in their room for a nice little nap, while you struggle to nod off after 48 hours of sleep deprivation – how do they do it?
Sleep pros know there are five habits they have that you might not. This is the competitive edge they use to get plenty of rest each night. If your sleep deprivation isn’t due to a medical condition, try implementing these tactics into your everyday routine to see if it helps you get your Zs.
Sleep Pro Habit #1: Stick to a Schedule! If you’re trying to go to bed at 8 PM one night and 2 AM the next, your poor body can’t get on a steady cycle of sleep. It needs a routine so that it can differentiate between daytime tasks and nighttime rest.
Sleep pros who get in bed at the same time each night and wake up on schedule each morning program their bodies to relax, like a science! If you want to include naps in your schedule, make sure they’re at the same time each day, too. Just be aware that naps can impede your nighttime sleep if they’re too long.
Sleep Pro Habit #2: Just Say “No” to Stimulants! You might recognize you have trouble sleeping, but don’t even think that 24-ounce Coca Cola you had at 9 PM could be the cause.
Caffeine, as well as other stimulants like electronic gadgets (video games, television, and the Internet), can all contribute to your sleeplessness. Avoid products like alcohol, tobacco, chocolate, and sodas during the evening hours – save them for the daytime when you’re telling your body it’s okay to be alert and awake.
Sleep Pro Habit #3: Move Your Body Toward Sleep! Exercise may be the medicine you need to engage in a deep slumber tonight. Insomnia occurs less frequently in those who exercise on a regular basis for at least 20-30 minutes a day.
You don’t want to exercise near bedtime, but in the morning or afternoon instead. Studies have shown that many sedentary individuals who suffered from insomnia found their sleep disorder disappeared once they began an exercise regimen.
When you exercise, you’re relieving tension and increasing your body’s production of endorphins. You don’t have to exercise vigorously – a moderate walk is enough to aid you in your quest for sleep.
Sleep Pro Habit #4: No Napping! Just as eating in between meals ruins your appetite, napping between deep sleep can prevent many sleep disorder sufferers from being able to fall asleep and get a full night’s rest.
For some, a nap is just the medicine they need to re-energize for the day, but if you’re suffering from sleep deprivation, a nap may cause more harm than good. Even though in the beginning you may feel extremely sleepy, try to save your slumber for the middle of the night and not for a mid-day luxury.
Sleep Pro Habit #5: Don’t Go Back for Seconds! It’s a Thanksgiving ritual for many – stuff yourself so full you have no choice but to waddle down the hall and flop into bed for a nap.
But eating too much – especially near bedtime – can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. Being overly stuffed with food can make sleeping uncomfortable, and if you’re one of the unlucky ones to suffer from indigestion, it can be a painful experience, too. Instead, eat just enough to quell your hunger and go to bed satisfied, but not distressed.
Not every sleep pro solution will work for everyone. The key is to find what works for you. Make lifestyle changes, keep records of your sleep quality, and seek out help from your doctor if signs and symptoms worsen.
Is It Possible to Get Too Much Sleep?
When the weekend rolls around, you’ll hear people talk about how they plan to sleep in since they didn’t get enough sleep during the week. There isn’t anything wrong with wanting a little extra sleep after a busy week.
There’s nothing wrong with it as long as you don’t overdo it. Once sleep is lost, you can never bank enough hours to cover that deficit. Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your body.
A lack of the proper amount of sleep can cause you to develop heart problems and can cause your metabolism to slow down. It also leads to trouble concentrating and trouble dealing with stress.
But on the other hand, getting too much sleep can also have adverse effects on your health. On average, you need and should aim to get between 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Sleeping for more than 8 hours can lead to putting on weight, developing type 2 diabetes and more.
Sleeping too much can also cause some side effects that you’ll notice right away. You may wake up groggy and remain drowsy throughout the day. With too much sleep, you’ll experience fatigue brought on by sleeping and the inactivity of resting.
This can cause you to crave even more sleep. It’s almost like an addiction because you’re training your body to need more. You can also experience a sleep headache and a general sense of not feeling well if you sleep too much.
Sometimes, sleeping too much can be indicative of a deeper problem. You might have an undiagnosed health problem that makes you feel constant fatigue and causes you to crave more sleep.
You might also be sleeping too much to put off dealing with the things that drain you emotionally. Sleeping too much can also be a sign that you’re experiencing depression. The old adage that you’ll wake up once your body has had adequate sleep isn’t true. Sleep feels good – and it’s easy to sleep for 10 hours or longer unless you set an alarm.
There are ways that you can avoid getting too much sleep. Schedule an alarm if you find that you do sleep too much without one. Don’t change the time that you get up – even on the weekends.
If you feel like there’s no reason to get up because you have nothing going on, then set up a to-do list. Include fun activities, chores, and special outings. If you consistently sleep too much because of insomnia, then seek treatment to make sure that you don’t have a sleep disorder.
Insomnia in popular culture
Insomnia has been a featured disorder from many factors such as books and movies. Two cult classics one is a book titled Insomnia wrote by horror novelist Stephen King and the other is the Robert DeNiro film from 1976 Taxi Driver. There have been 28 songs written and recorded about insomnia and among the artists who recorded a song were Vanessa Carlton, Green Day, Radiohead, and Tenacious D. The most popular film based on the Chuck Palahniuk novel that was a hit about 6 years ago was Fight Club with Edward Norton and Brad Pitt and the lead character was manic insomniac. This seems to be the most common form of sleeping disorder to the point that movies and songs were made about this problem.
People aren’t aware that this is a problematic issue for those who suffer from this. It’s not healthy to go without sleep because it can affect your immune system making you prone to catching things like the flu and colds. Not getting any rest can cause severe disorientation because your body wasn’t given an opportunity to rest and recuperate.
This is what drove the designer coffee movement up like the sprawl of coffee shops from Starbucks, Gloria Jeans, Seattle’s Best, and Caribou Coffee since you had a lot of late-nighters consisting of mainly people working in hospitals and college students who had to pull late nighters and cram sessions and needed to stay awake so when coffee wasn’t working they bought this over the counter pill called Vivarin which is equal to about 2 cups of coffee when you take the prescribed dosage.
It’s usually not a good idea to take Vivarin because it can interfere with your body’s ability to sleep and rest normally. You’ll find more college students getting sick a lot because they’re forcing their bodies to do things that aren’t normal like staying up super late and not getting at least 6 hours of sleep. Rest also provides your body’s digestive system to rest which makes up about 70% of your immune system so it’s ideal to sleep when necessary and taking short naps also works as a re-energizer to give you a burst of energy that works much better than coffee or caffeine pills.
That can become resistant since a lot of coffee drinkers tend to get very tired after a certain point and that’s due in part to the fact that you build up a resistance after having a few cups of coffee or cans of Coke so meaning it won’t keep you awake it will accelerate the rate of how fast you’ll start to feel sleepy.
So seeing pop culture idolize such a disorder is unknown unless the person who wrote the book or penned the song has a problem with it and decided to write or sing about it. The reason for it is unknown, but it’s rather interesting since a song can tell a story and the same of a book, but it’s obviously influenced a slew of songs, a few movies and a series of books where the characters are suffering from some kind of sleeping disorder from mild to severe.