Working late with our laptops, watching Netflix, and scrolling Instagram on the bed has become the late evening routine for most office goers. Sounds familiar? You’re not alone! Most of us compromise sleep during the weekdays which is reserved as a luxury item for weekends. However, lack of sleep can cause serious mental health issues. Inadequate or poor-quality sleep can have negative effects on mood, cognitive function, and overall well-being.
Factors affecting sleep quality
Overuse of electronic gadgets
Overconsumption of caffeine
Working schedules such as night shifts can affect the circadian rhythm
Genetic conditions such as narcolepsy
Interference of certain medicines
Excessive worry due to financial, work or relationship issues
Oversleeping during weekends
Anxiety and phobias
How improper sleep affects mental health?
Contributes to low mood: Lack of a good night’s sleep can lead to irritability, anger, and a general feeling of being overwhelmed. It can also contribute to the development of disorders such as depression and anxiety
Lowered energy: Lack of proper sleep drains one’s energy for the next day. Common sleep disorders such as insomnia make it difficult for an individual to fall asleep, leading to lower performance at school/ work and reduced quality well-being
Lower productivity: It can cause cognitive impairment, affecting one’s ability to early, make decisions, and solve problems. It can also affect focus, concentration, memory and learning ability.
Increases the risk of accidents: It can impact judgment and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents
Increased risk of mental health disorders: Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to the development and worsening of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis.
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Tips to sleep tight
Stick to a sleeping schedule:
Go to bed and wake during the same time including the weekends. Avoid oversleeping during the weekends. By following a strict sleep schedule, your body gets into a routine, which helps in staying refreshed and energized
Create a bedtime routine
Set a winding routine to alert the body that the day is ending. Alternatively you can also try listening to soft music, reading a book, and meditating before going to sleep.
Make the bed a “device-free zone”
Keep a designated place for each activity. Sleep on the bed, eat on a table and work at the workstation. Do not sit on the bed to work.
Avoid setting an alarm on your phone
Use a traditional clock to set an alarm instead of your mobile phone to avoid late-night scrolling on social media
Keep the room dark
Using light-blocking screens to make the bedroom dark can help to get good sleep. Melatonin is a hormone synthesized by the pineal gland that is released in response to darkness and helps in regulating our sleep cycle. Exposure to devices impacts the secretion of melatonin
Don't drink caffeine after 2 pm
Although you might need an afternoon energy boost during the workday, drinking too much caffeine will make it difficult for you to fall asleep later. Caffeine has a half-life of five to six hours, which means half of it is still in your system for six hours after drinking soda, coffee, or tea. Caffeine can also cause a vicious cycle: if you don't sleep well, you rely on coffee and vice-versa. The presence of caffeine in the body makes it challenging to fall asleep at night.
Eat low-glycemic index food
Relying on soda, and caffeine spikes the sugar level in the blood and causes sudden increase of energy.Consume low-glycemic index foods such as vegetables and fruits as they slowly release glucose and provide sustained energy for longer periods.
Also Read: Why Do I Feel Sad For No Reason?
Exercise every day
Exercising during the day can help you fall asleep faster. Getting up and moving is essential, but you should complete your workout at least three hours before going to sleep, so your body has time to relax, allowing your heart rate, temperature, and adrenaline to drop.
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Our sleep is heavily compromised in the modern world dominated by technology. It is up to us to prioritize our sleep and be productive. If you are experiencing problems with sleep, it is important to seek help from a medical professional or mental health professional. They can help you identify the cause of your sleep problems and recommend treatment options, such as therapy, medication, or lifestyle changes.