Health & FitnessLifestyle

6 Surprising External Factors That Affect Your Sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, if you’re an adult aged 26 to 64 years old, you need a recommended range of seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Any less than that can significantly affect your mood and cognitive performance. If you find that you’re not getting enough shuteye on a daily basis, there are some external factors that might possibly be causing your sleep problems. Here are some surprising external factors that may be affecting your sleep:

An uncomfortable bed

If you’ve been sleeping on the same bed for years, you might have grown accustomed to an uncomfortable feeling without even knowing it. Worn out compression springs on a cheap and flimsy bed can cause aches and pains that may be disrupting your sleep. A well-cared-for mattress can last you at least a decade before it gives in, but any longer than that and you might need to purchase a more comfortable replacement.

Sleeping pills

This might come as a surprise for you but sleeping pills can actually disturb your sleeping pattern. This is because it’s easy to become addicted to them. You’ll need to keep increasing the amount of melatonin in your body for it to be effective. Over time, it becomes more and more difficult for your body to go to sleep naturally when it becomes dependent on sleep medication. If nothing else works and you really do need a pill to get a good rest, then make sure that you’re not taking one every night and you strictly limit your intake.

Marijuana

Marijuana may relax your body and help you drift off, but you won’t be getting a good quality of sleep. While the THC in the drug can restore your natural sleep schedule, it comes at the cost of REM sleep which is what’s behind a deep, restful sleep. If you must smoke to relax your nerves before bed, then go for an indica strain over a sativa one.

Temperature

Even if you aren’t aware of how hot or cool your room is, the temperature in your surroundings can actually influence the quality of your sleep. A body that’s too warm doesn’t complete REM sleep as quickly or efficiently as one with a lower body temperature. The optimal temperature for sleeping is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius.

Exercise

Exercise is great for your health, but it’s important to time your physical activity appropriately. If you’re the type to feel tired immediately after a workout, you should workout close to your bedtime. But if you feel energized after a gym session, you might want to save a good limbering up for early in the morning. Depending on your body clock, you need to properly schedule your workouts to get the best possible sleep.

Lighting

Everyone’s internal body clock adjusts itself to changes in the environment. Dimmer environments can automatically make the body feel relaxed and prepared to go to bed, while bright surroundings make the body feel as if it’s still daytime. Avoid any artificial light that will disrupt your natural body clock’s rhythm. This includes phone and laptop screens and TVs

With these in mind, you can tweak your environment and make sure you’re getting the best sleep of your life.

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