We all know a myriad of factors exist that can affect your nightly zzz’s, and in turn the amount and quality of sleep you get affects your overall health and well-being. In honor of National Sleep Awareness Week, March 10-16th, and with daylight savings time upon us, we shed some light on a few reasons you may not be getting the sleep you deserve.
Below you’ll find a link to some tips from The Mayo Clinic that can promote a more restful night’s sleep for you and your family. We all experience the occasional sleepless night, but if you consistently have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, contact your doctor to uncover and discuss any underlying medical issues. The National Sleep Foundation, www.sleepfoundation.org, identifies some factors that may be disrupting a healthy sleep cycle.
Sleep and Your Thyroid
If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, or if you’re getting a solid nine hours and it’s still not enough, your thyroid hormones may be to blame. An overactive thyroid can cause you to feel energetic, jittery, and wide-awake, even when it’s time for your body to get some rest. Conversely, living with an underactive thyroid will have you walking around in a fog, even after a good night’s sleep.
Sleep and Your Immunity
While you sleep, your body produces cytokines, proteins that work to fight off infection and inflammation caused by the flu or other nasty viruses. Without an ample supply of cytokines, you may be at a greater risk of contracting a virus, or have a more difficult time fighting it off.
Sleep and Caffeine
According to the Food and Drug Administration, the half-life of caffeine is around 4-6 hours. What does this mean? Simply put, 4-6 hours after your last cup of coffee, half of the caffeine remains in your system. As we all know, caffeine is a stimulant, yet everyone’s body metabolizes caffeine differently, so you may be able to drink a cappuccino an hour before bedtime, while your best friend sticks to herbal tea.
Sleep and Your Mood
We’ve all seen that lack of sleep can definitely affect your mood, but did you know that your mood can affect your quality of sleep? If you feel troubled or anxious during waking hours, it can be difficult to fall asleep and stay in a deep state of sleep throughout the night. When you don’t sleep well, you tend to find yourself in a negative mood the next day, causing a cycle of poor sleeping patterns.