Statistics show that we Americans are sleeping less each decade, even though our need for sleep remains unchanged.
Sleeplessness has a direct influence on hunger hormones. When you don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels drop, which means you don’t feel as satiated after you eat. A lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to increase, stimulating your appetite. Sleeplessness also saps your energy and desire to exercise. Experts recommend that we snooze for between seven and nine hours of every night.
Not sleeping well lately?
Don’t eat within two hours of bedtime—eating a meal close to bed will lead to a bad night’s sleep.
Get regular exposure to daylight for at least 20 minutes every day, preferably in the morning. Bright sunlight in the morning helps set your body clock, so that you’ll sleep more easily at night.
At night, stay away from bright light when you’re nearing bedtime. Try to stay away from computer monitors for at least an hour before you go to bed. If you must use your computer late at night, turn the screen brightness down to as dim as you can get away with while still being able to read it.
The problem with looking at computer screens and even watching television near bedtime is that any bright light inhibits the release of the hormone melatonin, which is necessary for proper sleep.
One last sleeping tip – avoid alcohol close to bedtime. It may knock you out, but it also causes interruptions in sleep and lower-quality sleep.