As we find ourselves indulging more and more into a hectic, modern lifestyle, we end up not giving due importance to one of the most primary needs of our lives – Sleep. It forms an indispensable part of our lives which is important from various other aspects, apart from just getting a few hours’ rest after a long, tiring day
On the other hand, lack of sleep and the quality of it can result in several health conditions. These include obesity, diabetes, stress, long-term mood disorders, infertility, reduced libido and an increased risk of suffering from heart diseases. Sleeplessness also results in reduced productivity and therefore, affects our performance, our interpersonal relationships as well as our overall lifestyle.
While most of us find it difficult to get enough sleep owing to a packed and fast-paced lifestyle, the quality of sleep is also getting severely compromised. There are various factors that contribute to it. Apart from a sedentary lifestyle, stress, chronic health conditions and increased dependence on electronics, especially mobile phones, etc.; the consumption of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol is taking us further away from quality sleep.
These have an altogether disruptive effect on our sleep; as even after a good amount of sleep, we do not get up feeling all that well-rested.
Caffeine is a natural substance that is found in various products of daily consumption which include tea, coffee and cocoa. Caffeine-rich products are known for their stimulating properties. They promote alertness and eventually, keep us awake. That is perhaps why we might find students consuming strong coffee shots before getting down to study at night, as caffeine allows them to beat sleep, stay awake and concentrate.
Although coffee is healthy as it helps keep us moderately alert and improves our reaction time and mental performance; excessive coffee can disrupt our sleep, induce sleeplessness and gradually affects our overall performance. Interestingly, coffee tends to get absorbed by our body rather quickly and begins to work as a stimulant within about 30 minutes of consumption.
Coffee makes it hard for us to fall asleep by slowing down our biological clock. This makes us sleep much less during a given period. Coffee also affects the quality of our sleep. Besides, it causes us to make more frequent trips to the bathroom at night.
With insomnia being one of its major symptoms, nicotine consumption not only affects our lungs and our overall health but also our ability to fall and stay asleep. Reason – Nicotine’s powerful stimulating action.
According to research, smokers tend to be very light sleepers, and are not able to experience the joy of deep sleep. Here are some facts in association with smoking and sleeping.
- Those who smoke, wake up more habitually during the night
- People who smoke also have trouble falling asleep and tend to feel restless in the morning
Interestingly, people who have never smoked are likely to experience a much sound sleep compared to those who smoke at some point or the other. So if you happen to be a non-smoker and love your sleep, it’s better to abstain from it and never indulge in nicotine, ever!
It is believed that alcohol consumption allows you to fall asleep rather quickly. The truth, however, is far from it. It may appear that you have been sleeping sound at first. But the overall quality of our sleep gets significantly affected if you have been drinking. Alcohol may induce sleep, but in the long run, it affects the amount of REM sleep you have been getting.
REM is also known as the stage of sleep when our brain is the most active in carrying out some essential activities. It is a very important stage in our sleep cycle, as it leads to normal brain development and aids mental restoration. It is also the time when most of us have some vivid dreams. Alcohol consumption, however, disrupts the quality of this stage of sleep.
Alcohol, therefore, is not a healthy sleeping aid at all. An excessive alcohol indulgence or an over-reliance on alcohol to fall asleep may lead to an increased possibility of sleepwalking, sleep talking, and experiencing some serious memory issues.
Hence, there is little doubt about the fact that smoking and consuming excessive caffeine or alcohol, especially around sleep time increases the likelihood of suffering from insomnia, and interfere with restorative sleep.
For having a relaxed and effective sleep, you may take Sleeprite shotz®. It is a natural support and non-habit forming solution to sleeplessness from the house of Nutrite. To start with this sleep-inducing natural remedy, you would need to initially be consuming it as one bottle every day for about a week.
Author: Dr Sonica Krishan
Dr Sonica Krishan is Author and Speaker in the areas of Healthy and Joyous Living through
Ayurveda, Meditation, Yoga and other Contemplative practices. She is a leading Ayurveda
Professional in India. She is also Health Writer, Columnist, Editor, Ayurveda Consultant and
Holistic Healing Coach.