Sleeping As An Important Lifestyle Factor

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Getting enough quality sleep is one of the core elements impacting our quality of life. Unfortunately, sleep often gets put on the backburner as we focus on other lifestyle factors, including relationships, job responsibilities, fitness goals, etc. 

The problem with this mindset is that sleep deprivation impacts all of those areas negatively. Here’s what you need to know about factors that impact your sleep and how sleep impacts your lifestyle.

Common Causes of Sleep Deprivation

There are many factors that could be impacting your ability to sleep. Sleep deprivation often manifests in one of two ways: lack of sleep or low-quality sleep. In other words, you may be sleeping for eight hours a night but experience unnoticeable disruptions to your sleep cycle as the night progresses.

Knowing the cause can help you make a plan to get better sleep. Some common causes include:

Bad mattress

One of the most common causes of sleep deprivation, and perhaps the easiest to address, is a bad mattress. Whether you’ve bought something low-quality or just need something new, this simple swap can make a huge impact. 

Take some time to research which type of mattress is right for your body and sleeping style. Check out Health.com blog content for best memory foam mattress reviews before shopping.

Sleep disorder

Sleep disorders are another common disruption. A sleep disorder could be anything from sleep apnea to insomnia. If you think you might have a sleep disorder, talk to a medical professional to determine the best course of treatment.

Poor sleep habits

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies when it comes to getting decent sleep. Late-night scrolling and screen time can impact one’s circadian rhythms and make it harder to enter a deep sleep cycle. Going to bed too late, consuming too much caffeine or alcohol, or eating too close to bedtime can also have a negative impact. 

External issues

Sometimes it’s the subtle things that impact one’s quality of sleep, as people with young children can attest to. Things like room temperature, stress, and environmental factors all play a role.

Sleep Deprivation and Hormones

Sleep is the body’s time to rest and reset. Without enough sleep, your body won’t be able to regulate your hormones. Most notably, sleep deprivation is connected to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol can negatively impact your immune system, weight management, and a plethora of other bodily functions.

The problem with this hormonal disruption is that it leads to the development of illness and diseases over time. While you may not notice the impact sleep deprivation is having on your lifestyle right now, you’ll pay the price as you age. 

Sleep Deprivation and Cognition

If you feel foggy and unclear after a night of poor sleep, you’re not alone. Sleep deprivation is a known cause of cognitive impairment. When you’re tired, you might feel unfocused, unproductive, and unable to process emotions and thoughts at your usual pace. 

How does this impact your lifestyle?

You’re more likely to make poor decisions while tired. At the very least, you won’t be your best self when engaging with other people or problems.

Sleep Deprivation and Relationships

Anyone who has dated someone with chronic sleep issues can attest to the difficulties caused by sleep deprivation. It’s natural to feel groggy, irritable, and unwilling to engage in activities that fuel your relationship. 

While it’s normal to have an off day or experience periods of sleep deprivation (again, new parents can attest to this fact), it will have an impact on your lifestyle and relationship health over time.

Sleep Deprivation and Job Performance

As quality sleep helps people make better decisions, interact with others, and focus on their tasks, it should come as no surprise that sleep impacts one’s job performance. In fact, sleep deprivation is often the cause of the human error and workplace accidents. Sometimes a lack of sleep can lead to a missed report or deadline. Other times, it leads to an injury or loss of life.

In summary, sleep is an essential lifestyle factor. If you have big fitness, career, and relationship goals, start by addressing this foundational element of your health and well-being. 

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