• Niki Panahizadeh

3 Ways You Ruin Your Sleep

In a chaotic world filled with tasks and stress, sleep is definitely something to look forward to at the end of the day. The cold feeling of the pillow and the softness of the blanket make it easy to drift off.


However, for many it has become quite difficult to enjoy the simple act of sleeping.


1. You Work Where You Sleep


Your bedroom should be a place of tranquility, free of any external and internal stressors. By integrating your work environment with your bedroom, you impair your focus.



Many have given up work attire for pajama pants after quarantining for consecutive months. That is totally normal. But, it's important to separate the workspace from the resting area. By not doing so, the brain will continue to think about work-related subjects at a time of sleep.¹ This makes the line between rest and work muddled.² The brain will display behavior that is associated with the workplace during bedtime and disrupt sleep.


A study of Swedish professional workers tested the inter-relationships between boundary-less work and sleep. Their results indicated that merging work and rest boundaries cause sleep problems. Psychological detachment from work is crucial for getting sufficient amounts of sleep.


“ Psychological detachment, in turn, was directly associated with sleeping problems and inversely associated with sleep duration. Sleeping problems were inversely associated with sleep duration.”¹²


Your bedroom should be a place of tranquility, free of any external and internal stressors. By integrating your work environment with your bedroom, you impair your focus.
Illustration by Nadia Mokadem

2. You Have Large Meals Right Before Sleep


Having large carbohydrate-loaded meals before sleeping can cause difficulties to your sleep routine. Feeling full and heavy can keep you awake way past your bedtime. Heavy meals shorten the duration and deteriorate the quality of sleep. Establishing a fasting state is not only essential for metabolism homeostasis, but also promotes a good night’s sleep. Metabolism homeostasis maintains a stable internal environment in the body. This enables different systems in the body to work at maximum efficiency.


Late-night snacks are definitely unavoidable at times, especially now that many spend much of their time working from home. Consuming low-calorie snacks of less than 200kcal are better alternatives for carbohydrate-rich ones. Protein bars, fruits, or a cup of plain yogurt are some examples of healthy late-night snacks. This helps to avoid the body's adverse reactions, such as hyperglycemia, through the night.Hyperglycemia can make the body feel too hot and increase urinary output through the night. This may cause discomfort if you are settling in to sleep.


3. You Are Not Drinking Enough Water


Dehydration can also be a contributing factor to your disrupted sleep patterns. A decrease of fluids in the body causes nocturnal leg and arm cramps that may keep you awake.Muscle cramp is due to inadequate blood supply in the body which narrows the arteries.


Minerals in the body are often supplied by drinking water. However, by reducing your water consumption, there will be fewer minerals in the body. As a result, the lack of minerals contributes to muscle cramps as well as well as cause your sleep to be fragmented.


Fragmented sleep will deprive you of alertness and cognitive performance for the following day.


A study on the cross-cultural evidence from US and Chinese adults connected dehydration and sleep deprivation as such:


"Short sleep duration was associated with higher odds of inadequate hydration in US and Chinese adults relative to sleeping 8 hr."


Both U.S. and Chinese adults reported shorter sleep duration as their hydration worsened. Each participant's urine sample was tested for this experiment. Individuals with less than 6 hours of sleep displayed a higher concentration in their urinary output compared to others with 8 hours.


Sleeping is essential to wellbeing and health, but it’s often neglected. Most of the time, we are unconscious of how our habits have been ruining our sleep routine. It's important to understand that lack of adequate sleep can cause many long-term health issues. Integrating the workplace with bedroom, heavy meals, and dehydration can be reasons why you feel sleep-deprived. By becoming aware of these destructive habits, you can maintain a healthy balance of rest and productivity.

References

  1. Robben, B. (n.d.). Never Do Homework In Bed: 3 Reasons Why: Achs.edu. Retrieved from https://info.achs.edu/blog/never-do-homework-in-bed-3-reasons-why

  2. Scott, E. (2020, March 18). Why you shouldn't work from your bed when working from home. Retrieved from https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/18/shouldnt-work-bed-working-home-coronavirus-self-isolation-12413064/?ito=cbshare

  3. Burgard, S. A., & Ailshire, J. A. (2009). Putting work to bed: stressful experiences on the job and sleep quality. Journal of health and social behavior, 50(4), 476–492. https://doi.org/10.1177/002214650905000407

  4. Burgard, S. A., & Ailshire, J. A. (2009). Putting work to bed: stressful experiences on the job and sleep quality. Journal of health and social behavior, 50(4), 476–492. https://doi.org/10.1177/002214650905000407

  5. Nakajima K. (2018). Unhealthy eating habits around sleep and sleep duration: To eat or fast?. World journal of diabetes, 9(11), 190–194. https://doi.org/10.4239/wjd.v9.i11.190

  6. Written by Editor Updated on 15th January 2019, & Editor. (2020, March 11). Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels and your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep, which results in trouble sleeping. Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-and-sleep.html#:~:text=High blood sugar levels can,the toilet during the night.

  7. Surprising Ways Your Hydration Level Can Help or Hinder Your Sleep. (2020, September 02). Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/connection-between-hydration-and-sleep

  8. Muscle cramp. (2019, January 03). Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/muscle-cramp/symptoms-causes/syc-20350820

  9. Asher Y Rosinger, Anne-Marie Chang, Orfeu M Buxton, Junjuan Li, Shouling Wu, Xiang Gao, Short sleep duration is associated with inadequate hydration: cross-cultural evidence from US and Chinese adults, Sleep, Volume 42, Issue 2, February 2019, zsy210, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsy210

  10. Pinkham, K. (2019, April 26). Can't sleep- 3 things you can do tonight! Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.theinsomniaclinic.co.uk/blog//cant-sleep-3-things-you-can-do-tonight

  11. Work vs. home By mfarmand: Business Cartoon. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.toonpool.com/cartoons/work vs. home_23170

  12. Mellner, Christin & Kecklund, Göran & Kompier, Michiel & Sariaslan, Amir & Aronsson, Gunnar. (2016). Boundaryless work, psychological detachment and sleep: Does working 'anytime' anywhere' equal employees are 'always on'?. 10.1108/S1877-636120160000016003.