“Not being a morning person” goes beyond a mindset and for some, it may take more than a strong cup of coffee to fix. Read on for more info on how to improve your sleep hygiene.
What is sleep hygiene? I sleep clean, right? Does this mean I could have sleep B.O? No, silly, but you can call it that if you’d like.
Sleep hygiene is less about the cleanliness of your resting place, though that does matter, and more about your sleeping habits.
Sleep hygiene is measured using two parameters, duration and quality of sleep. Poor sleep hygiene, or as I call it, having “sleep B.O.", has been linked to the development and progression of a number of chronic diseases including but not limited to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression.
As a matter of fact, sleep duration and quality have become predictors for a number of biomarkers including A1c. For those with type 2 diabetes, this means that optimizing sleep quality could contribute to improved blood sugar control. A body lacking sleep is a body under stress. Subsequently, many of the same negative effects of stress are also experienced as a result of poor sleeping habits.
Research has shown that excess stress can cause excess weight gain. Insufficient sleep results in hypothalamic changes in metabolic and hormonal body regulation, changes which have been linked to obesity.
The hypothalamus is a region of the brain that regulates appetite, energy expenditure, and a number of other hormonal and metabolic functions. Proper rest periods allow the hypothalamus to function in a way that increases the body’s energy efficiency. When it is under stress, such as a lack of sleep, the signals sent from the hypothalamus trigger the body to produce more stress hormones, store fat, and stimulate appetite.
Signs of poor sleep quality or insufficient sleep duration include feelings of sluggishness or of being exhausted even after a full night’s sleep, waking up repeatedly throughout the night, and experiencing symptoms of sleep disorders such as snoring or gasping for air. If you experience any of these problems, it is suggested that you seek professional guidance from your physician. They may be able to help identify the key factors impeding on your sleep.
So if you are looking to take your snoozefest to the next level or just get rid of your “sleep B.O.”, here are a few tips that are proven to help:
Hopefully, these tips will have you sleeping soundly and waking fully rested with those I-slept-really-well-last-night pillow imprints on the side of your face. Remember, your sleep doesn't have to stink. #SleepB.O.
CDC - Sleep Home Page - Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/sleep/.
CDC - About Sleep - Sleep Hygiene. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html.
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