11 Sleep Mistakes You’re Probably Making — and How to Fix Them

Are You Getting Good Sleep?

Many health conscious folks have a strong awareness and commitment to the relationships between nutrition, exercise and health, but what we often overlook is sleep! Without proper sleep, all those efforts may be getting thwarted and you may not even know it. Sleep is connected to your mood, hunger, athletic performance — everything! Here are 11 sleep mistakes you are probably making, plus some tips on how to get a good night’s sleep every night.

 

Mistake: Too Much Light

Got the TV glaring or a light shining on the nightstand? While it may seem outrageous, your body prefers a dark environment to trigger the proper release of melatonin, a hormone that helps set the stage for your overnight sleep cycles, where many additional hormone shifts occur. According to a study published in JAMA, exposure to artificial light was linked to weight gain in women. Subjects that slept with large amounts of light in their room (such as a TV) had a 17% greater risk of gaining 11 pounds over the time the study was conducted. Similar studies have also linked this poor lighting situation to obesity, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

 

Mistake: You’re Off Schedule

Whether you are conscious of it or not, your sleep quality benefits from a regular schedule. A study published earlier this summer supports that steady sleep and wake up times should be the goal — even just a one-hour a night change can have a negative impact on health. The moral to this bedtime story: Going to bed and waking up at the same time (yes, even on the weekends) is a key step to better zzz’s.

 

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