World Sleep Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of sleep and the impact of sleep disorders on our health and well-being. Sleep disorders are a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide and can have a significant impact on their quality of life. One of the leading causes of sleep disorders is dietary and lifestyle changes. In today’s fast-paced world, many people are living a sedentary lifestyle, consuming unhealthy foods, and facing constant stress, which can negatively affect their sleep patterns. On this World Sleep Day, let’s recognize the impact of our dietary and lifestyle choices on our sleep patterns and take steps to make positive changes in our lives. (Also read: World Sleep Day 2023: When is World Sleep Day? Know the date, theme, history and significance )
Dr. Manoj Kutteri, Medical Director and CEO, Atmantan Wellness Centre, shared with HT Lifestyle, the five most common dietary and lifestyle changes that cause sleep disorders.
1. Lifestyle and sleep are interconnected: Sleep deprivation is a lifestyle-induced condition and more and more people are now getting affected by lack of sleep due to changes in their lifestyle. It is good to understand these lifestyle and dietary habits that can have a negative influence on your sleep
2. Caffeine intake: Coffee intake in moderation during the day may not affect your sleep badly, however, if the Caffeine load is higher and towards the late evening, it can interfere with the circadian rhythm. Caffeine is a stimulant and can increase alertness and it remains in the blood for a long period. The time required for metabolising caffeine in our body is roughly 9-10 hours and this can delay sleep.
3. Exercise and sleep: Sedentary lifestyle is one of the major causes of poor sleep. Regular exercises will help to increase the heart rate and body temperature and this will stimulate the production of endorphins and other neurotransmitters such as serotonin. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety and induce deep relaxation. Those who are regular in their exercise experience deeper sleep and fall asleep faster. However, too much exercise or exercising late in the evening can have a negative impact on sleep
4. Poor diet habits: A diet that is highly processed, refined, high in sugar and trans-fats etc., can lead to systemic inflammation in the body and weight gain. This can also lead to various lifestyle complications and affect sleep badly causing interference with falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up fresh. Lifestyle illnesses are also a result of these poor dietary habits.
5. Poor sleep hygiene practices: Poor sleep can also arise from various lifestyle practices. Indulging in blue screens, having a heavy meal prior to bed, and heavy consumption of sugar, consumption of alcohol etc. can have a major impact on sleep quality.