Poor sleeping habits are slowly killing you
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Aug 26, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Poor sleeping habits are slowly killing you


Cranky, lethargic, low-energy, moody, non-productive -- we all know what we feel like when we haven't had enough sleep. But your mood is not the only thing negatively impacted by lack of sleep. Not getting enough shut-eye can be seriously bad for your health.

According to Health Canada, most adults should be getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. During restful sleep, your body releases hormones that help fight off infections, regulate your metabolism, burn fat and repair cells.

However, with busy lives, family and work schedules, it's easy to develop bad sleep habits that prevent you from getting enough rest.

Bad sleep habits include:

• going to bed at inconsistent times each night

• eating or drinking - especially stimulants like alcohol and caffeine - just before bed

• watching television and using the computer, or other handheld electronics, right up until bedtime...or worse, in bed.

Bad sleep habits, as with sleep disorders, can prevent us from getting the restorative down-time our bodies need to function through the day.

The less you sleep, the more likely you are to crave high-calorie processed foods, develop diabetes or be overweight since blood glucose regulation is facilitated by hormones released during sleep. Consistent lack of sleep or sleep disruption can also lead to serious long-term health consequences including an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and an overall shortened life expectancy.

Whether stress or a sleep condition are preventing you from getting a good night's rest, the following are some tips for developing good sleeping habits:

• stick to a sleep schedule -- power down and wake up the same time every day

• avoid alcoholic drinks before bedtime -- alcohol may cause you to feel drowsy, but won't lead to restful sleep

• avoid consuming large meals or caffeine late at night

• clear your sleeping environment of distractions such as your TV or smartphone

• integrate at least 30 minutes of brisk activity into each day

Getting your proper rest tonight will leave you feeling more energetic, attentive and productive tomorrow.

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