While you sleep your brain recharges and prepares for the next day, your cells repair themselves and your body releases important hormones. It helps repair your heart and blood vessels, while also reducing your risk for obesity and helping you maintain a healthy immune system.
However, sleep deprivation can lead to various mental and physical health problems – accidents, depression and aging, are just a few.
Avoid the side effects of sleep deprivation by simply getting enough sleep. According to a recent study by the National Sleep Foundation teenagers (14-17) should get 8-10 hours of sleep per night, young adults (18-25) and adults (26-64) should get 7-9 hours and older adults (65+) should get 7-8 hours.
If you are not getting the recommended hours of sleep per night, it may be because you have formed habits that are keeping you awake. Here are the worst things you can do before bed.
1. Look at your phone- [Related: How is Your Smart Phone Messing with Your Health?] The light from your smart phone keeps your mind stimulated, making it harder for you to fall asleep. According to cnet, the blue light that your LED screen gives off can slow down or stop the production of melatonin. Without melatonin we tend to stay awake longer which in turn keeps us up later than we intended.
2. Eat spicy foods- Be careful of what you eat before you go to bed; it will determine how you feel throughout the night. Stay away from spicy foods specifically; they are likely to cause you indigestion and discomfort.
3. Watch a distressing TV show- Due to the fact that many popular television shows air late night on weeknights, people are watching TV right before bed. Unfortunately, not all of these shows are light hearted comedies. Watching a show that is distressing before bed can lead to more tossing and turning throughout the night.
4. Drink coffee- [Related: 15 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Drink Caffeine] We all like a little coffee with our dessert, but be careful that you are not consuming it too close to bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant; it will cause disturbance to your sleep, making it harder to fall asleep while also waking you up during the night.
5. Check your social media accounts- Believe it or not, research has shown that young adults who check their social media frequently throughout the week, or spend a lot of time on social media during the day, are more likely to suffer from sleep disturbances. In the study conducted by the University Pittsburg School of Medicine, “participants used social media a total of 61 minutes per day and visited various social media accounts 30 times per week. The assessment showed that nearly 30 percent of the participants had high levels of sleep disturbance.”