Sleep is one of the 5 elements of fitness and it´s key to help you achieve any fitness goal and live a better life, lack of sleep have a lot of negative impacts but there are also many things that can cause sleep problems.
One of the main causes of sleep problems is stress, if you have chronic stress your body won´t calm and relax and your mind don´t stop so you won´t be able to fall asleep or if you manage to do it you won´t feel rested when you wake up. Most of us have chronic stress and we don´t consider all the negative effects it has on our health and some of us don´t think of it as the cause of our poor sleep nights.
Digestive problems are also a cause of poor sleep, if you have digestive problems and you have a big meal or you have meals high on refined sugar and unhealthy fats you´ll feel bloated and constipated and when you go to bed you won´t fall asleep, your body will be working so hard to digest all that food.
The environment also affects the quality of sleep there are so many things you need to consider here starting with the temperature of the room which change from one person to another but too hold or too cold will impact negatively your sleep also lights and noise. If your environment is not completely dark this can cause problems for your internal clock so make sure that all lights are off, you can use nightlights in bathrooms to avoid accidents if you wake up in the night. Noises inside and outside your house can keep you awake or wake you up if you are not use to them, in this case it can be hard to control the noises but do what you can in your home to avoid any loud noise that can disturb your sleep.
Light is an important factor on the quality of sleep, we´re exposed to light a lot more nowadays and this changes the internal clock of our body. Light exposure from sun is not the same as light exposure from electric light bulbs. In the late afternoon or late night we turn on the lights to continue what we´re doing but this creates a delay in our sleeping patterns, the light clock we are using externally with electronics and electric light bulbs is not in rhythm with our internal light clock which goes with nature. Getting outside and having light from the sun in the morning and turning lights off when the sun goes down or around the same time keeps the internal clock of our body in sync.
The color of your bedroom can also impact the amount of sleep you get every night, some colors make you sleep less hours while other colors help you sleep more.
Blue light is also a problem lowering the production of melatonin, the use of electronics like computers, lap tops, cell phones are increasing the use of blue light and you use them a lot throughout the day, some of us use them at night right before we go to bed and sometimes in bed, checking news and social media accounts is one of the worst habits that are causing a lot of health problems.
Two things you can do today to improve the quality of your sleep is first reduce the time you spend using electronics, turn them off around one hour before you go to sleep, you can start with 30 minutes, turn the lights off also you can use this 30 minutes to meditate relax and calm and to release tension from your body and muscles.
Second try to get light sun every morning, if you can do some physical activity outside do it and reduce the amount of light in the afternoon and night, getting light from the sun in the morning and reducing light from electronics and electric light bulbs at night helps your body sets its internal clock.
I also need to mention that life is hard for all of us, there are times when we´ll go through a lot of difficult situations, one after another and this increases stress, worry it can lead to anxiety and depression and all this also impacts in a negative way all the 5 principles of fitness, in this case it is so hard to fall asleep and get enough high quality sleep every night, this happens to all of us from time to time and we need to find ways to solve those situation or at least cope with it so it doesn´t affect our health. If this becomes chronic then it leads to diseases. If you´re struggling with something in your life and you want to share it with us you can leave a comment down below, on Twitter or send us a dm, we´ll be glad to help you.
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