Another All-Nighter? Time to Set Proper Sleeping Habits

We all have our fair share of times of staying up late. Those evenings where we had to burn the midnight oil. Be it for work to crunch those extra hours to make up for lost time. Or even for something as casual as our leisure time — sacrificing an hour or 2 of sleep to catch up on a couple of episodes from our favorite series. Sleep has become one of our expendable variables whenever we are short in time. It has taken quite a back seat with most people’s priority. A lot of us can definitely agree how we would very much prefer to shave a few hours and risk being drowsy the next day if it would mean having more time dealing with whatever is on our plate that night.

Sleep, however, is a fundamental part of upkeeping our body’s proper condition. When we risk being sleep-deprived, the consequences are far more significant than simply drowsiness and fatigue the following day. Vital functions can start to dwindle down. For one, our bodily defenses can take a toll from the lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation can inhibit our immune system’s ability to protect ourselves from illnesses and disease, making us more vulnerable to getting sick. The body’s physiological condition isn’t the only thing, too. You might have heard people getting a bit cranky when their sleep is a bit off, but adverse sleep deprivation can actually affect our psychological well-being. Sleep and mental health are closely intertwined. Sleep problems are likely to affect a person’s attitude and mental stability.

More Than Just A Bed-Time Practice

What decides a good night’s sleep from a restless evening goes way beyond what we do or what happens during the moment we would catch some Z’s. A lot of factors tend to affect our sleeping quality throughout the day. Setting up reliable sleeping habits is a staple you can’t necessarily skip out on if you want to earn a good night’s rest consistently.

Day Time Preparations

Avoid Napping

One thing that may be hard to lose for fellow all-nighters is the habit to avoid daytime napping. Although it's all well and good to have a quick breather to refresh your body from time to time, the long tradition of napping can affect your overall sleep quality. Napping during the day will influence your body’s internal clock and will consequently make it much harder for you to subsequently sleep at night. Moreover, relying on napping altogether doesn’t look like a viable option either. A study mentioned that people who slept during the day ended up just as tired if not more compared to people who do not regularly take naps. It seems like nothing can replace a good night’s sleep.

Soak-Up Natural Light

Another factor you might be surprised about that affects your sleep is the amount of light exposure you get throughout the day. Exposure to blue-enriched sunlight can improve alertness, performance, and evening fatigue for people. Light being able to affect your sleep sounds quite unbelievable but it is no mystery. Our internal body clock was evolved to detect the amount of light and darkness within a day. This is in order to maintain appropriate periods of sleep and wakefulness during our day-night-cycle. If ever you are stuck at home and can’t afford to go out and soak some sunshine, using artificial white light can act as a perfect equivalent.

Prepare a Sleep Schedule

As you might notice from our previous tips, our internal sleep cycle does genuinely play a vital role in dictating the quality of sleep you’ll get. To further maximize your sleeping pattern, it would be ideal to try to set up consistent sleep and wake times. By pinning down a timeframe and adjusting it with your body’s internal clock, you can seamlessly sleep and wake up in a breeze. One study had noted that people who had irregular sleeping patterns felt more inferior quality of sleep. This erratic pattern mostly takes up with weekdays having a shorter duration whilst weekends having a more prolonged sleep. So maybe the common tactic to “make-up” for our rest during the weekends may not be as clinically aligned as we might have hoped for.

Before We Sleep

Minimize Blue Light And Electronic Use

If having light exposure during the day might be good for your sleep health, it plays vice versa when nightfall comes. It is best to avoid bright light sources hours before you sleep. As blue light at night can suppress your body’s melatonin that majorly controls your sleep-wake-cycle. Avoiding blue light would also translate into reducing electronic use, too. Aside from the fact that most electronics emit blue light, playing around with technology devices before sleep affects sleep latency and the stages of rapid eye movement (REM sleep) when our bodies are into their deep phases of recovery. So, even if your mobile device can have an off button for its blue light, it's still probably best to keep your phones or any other laptops and PCs off your hands. Maybe dedicate the last few remaining hours of the night to yourself.

Avoid Midnight Snacks

We might be all a bit guilty of having a quick snack before we turn to bed. As much as it might help our delicious cravings, it doesn’t exactly fare well with our sleep. Having high quantity consumption of foods, particularly carbohydrates, may diminish sleep quality. Since taking up a hefty meal merely hours before the sleeping schedule manages to create hormone disruptions, like the natural release of our melatonin, that makes our body unprepared for its sleeping stasis. It’s best to make sure you’ll get a comfortable meal during your dinner time to avoid any spontaneous snacking during later hours.

Adjust Your Sleep Temperature

A lot goes around in one’s sleeping environment. There are things you might not expect that would substantially affect your sleep tendencies. As such, it is always wise to optimize your bed space. One small factor most people gloss over is room temperature. Sleep gets more disturbed by heat than other sleep determinants such as loud noise. It was found that thermal sensations in the body drastically influence sleep architecture. Uncomfortable temperatures were also seen to affect the latter parts of sleep stages. Perhaps saving up for an air conditioner might be worth the budget if it assures a well-rested evening.

Tumbling And Turning

Although even when we get everything right, have done the preparations and all, there are simply nights where we can’t just help it but not fall asleep. There will always be evenings that are filled with tossing and turning around the bed, and it's never a fun feeling. Though there’s no such thing as a sleep-on-demand technique, there are a few options here and there that might just help you ease into the world of dreams a lot easier.

Controlled Breathing

Breathing techniques are some of the most straightforward methods to have a variety of therapeutic effects on the body and mind. The exercising of continuous calm, deep breaths helps you maintain a calm composure. Composed breathing was shown to improve sleep onset latency and quality for insomniacs and enhance the stability of their sleep pattern. There are numerous ways to do breathing exercises such as doing it by the Anuloma Viloma or Sitali Pranayama techniques, but simple breathing exercises can go as straightforward as inhaling and exhaling through the nose and mouth.

Muscle Relaxation

Most of the time restlessness is the main hurdle that affects our ability to fall soundly asleep. It may be coming from nervous jitters for something essential or excitement for tomorrow’s surprise. But regardless of which, it inevitably makes your body tensed up and unable to lay still. To put your muscles at ease, progressive muscle relaxation can be your solution. Progressive muscle relaxation is a method that helps relieve bodily tension. It forces the body to relax so it is unable to feel anxious nor fidgety and ultimately enables you to fall asleep faster. Progressive muscle relaxation is usually done with controlled breathing paired up with simple flexing or tightening of certain muscle groups. You can refer to this list to have a more comprehensive guide.

Pharex Vit-E

It’s also helpful to complement your sleeping habits by supplementing yourself with multivitamins such as Pharex Vit-E. One significant effect of the inability to sleep is stress with added short- and long-term cognitive and memory impairment. Pharex’s vitamin E helps counteract this effect through its potent antioxidant that has neuroprotective effects on the brain.

We don’t necessarily think about it too much, but sleep plays a massive part in our lives. Even when pushing aside its health influences, in a perspective, sleep covers almost ⅓ of our day. Stepping back on a bigger scale, we sleep around 26 years. It is really no exaggeration to say that taking care of your sleep is already taking care of almost half your lifetime. Yet even with that, a good night's rest goes a long way in keeping the rest of the day up. Simply put, sleeping will always be the first leg of the race in acting your best. — (MyPharma)

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