About 50 to 70 million people in the US struggle with a sleep disorder. Lack of sleep is linked to memory issues as well as cognitive difficulties. Sleep deficiency weakens your immune system, increases your blood pressure, and results in poor balance as well. A number of illnesses including diabetes and heart disease are also associated with not fetching ample zzz.
In fact, the NHTSA said that in 2017 the police reported 91,000 crashes that involved drowsy driving. In this regard, it is crucial to follow good sleep hygiene practices. Now a new research work says that drinking alcohol and smoking nicotine before bed can disrupt sleep. These two reduce sleep more than drinking coffee in fact.
What Does This New Study Say?
Florida Atlantic University researchers collaborated with scientists from the Harvard Medical School for this study. They analyzed the nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol consumption of 785 volunteers. They also compared data obtained from the daily sleep diaries and wrist sensors of participants. The journal Sleep published this study.
All the participants were African Americans and the study checked their sleep for 5,164 days. Researchers hired African American participants due to their under-representation. African Americans also tend to have “short sleep duration and fragmented sleep compared to non-Hispanic whites as well as more deleterious health consequences associated with inadequate sleep.”
Findings Of The Study
Scientists said that to improve sleep quality, it is crucial to not intake alcohol or nicotine before bedtime. Most think its caffeine which disturbs sleep when alcohol and nicotine have worse effects. A late nigh smoking session cuts out 42 minutes from the sleep of insomniacs. Researchers didn’t find much of a correlation between sleep disruption and caffeine consumption 4 hours before bed.
How Can You Improve Your Sleep?
The researchers involved in this study said that nicotine and alcohol limiting before bed can help improve sleep. Other than this, other measures which can help you fall asleep include setting a routine. Moreover, don’t spend your entire day on your bed. Your mind should link your bed with only sleep.
Other than this, the temperature and lighting in your room also matters. Don’t use your smartphone or another such device an hour before bed. The blue light emitted can delay melatonin production which can mess up with your sleep. Avoid napping and irregular sleep in the middle of the night. This will also help you sleep at night-time.
Other than this, avoid sleeping right before bedtime. Try to relax and clear your mind when sleeping otherwise stress-inducing thoughts can keep you up. You can also take a hot bath before bed to relax your muscle and stimulate sleep. If nothing helps, consider adding a melatonin supplement to your routine.
A new study says that nicotine and alcohol disrupt your sleep more than caffeine. These two can steal away 40 minutes form your sleep time if you take them before bed. Therefore, avoid taking a smoke or drinking that extra glass of wine after dinner. Considering how harmful for health both can be anyway, try quitting or restricting your intake overall as well.