Want to know something crazy?
Up to 40% of Americans is chronically sleep-deprived.
Sleep-deprivation, however, has enormous consequences to your overall health. With poor sleep you’ll increase your risk for depression, overeating, becoming obese, Alzheimer’s diseaes, diabetes, heart disease, and disregulates your overall immune system.
And that’s just a short-list.
You’ll also lowre your self-control, take more risks, and engage in more self-destructive behaviors…
So why do so many people sleep so poorly?
Reason 1: Most People Don’t Know What Factors Influence Their Sleep
Ever watched television late at night or used a smartphone just before you went to bed?
If you’re reading my blog then you probably already know that bright light exposure before bedtime is devastating to your overall sleep quality…
Very few people, however, truly realize how broad the different influences on your sleep quality can be.
For instance, if you’ve got a refrigerator in the other room that’s kind of noisy, your sleep quality will be affected.
If you’ve got a chronic health condition, then the healing process will be negatively impacted by that fridge.
Then there’s EMFs – “Electro-Magnetic Frequncies” emitted by many devices in your environment. That DECT phone? No bueno. A smartphone in your bedroom that’s not placed in airplane mode? No bueno either! Poor quality wiring in your house, leading to body voltage because of dirty electricity? Once again: no bueno!
Truly understanding the factors affecting sleep is complicated. In fact, I might be able to differentiate between 100 different strategies – abstracted both from scientific studies and clinical experience – that could help you improve sleep quality.
If that all sounds complicated, I really get it…
So let me simplify my message:
To begin with, the air in your environment that you breathe, the light around you, the sound, the EMF, and your water and food intake, all affect your sleep quality. Stress, mindset, and overall lifstyle also have huge influences.
Optimizing these areas is like a symphony:
If you’ve got an orchestra without string instruments, the music probably doesn’t sound as it should…
Same for brass instruments and woodwind instrument.
Heck, if anyone online is telling you that you can magically improve your sleep without knowing your unique context – so the decibel sound levels at night or your radiowave exposure – they’re not offering a viable solution.
Hence, fixing your sleep quality issues by having you take some melatonin or valerian root without knowing you is a sham…
Let’s now consider the second reason why most people fail to improve their sleep dramatically:
Reason 2: Choosing To Stay Up Late And Not Prioritize Sleep
This reason is equally important in today’s society.
In fact, in many ways life in modern cities is set up in such a way to minimize your overall sleep quality.
Culture then makes matters ten times worse.
Simple, it’s very normal to:
- Stay up until 4 AM to party. Very few people are aware of the health damage that choice has though.
- Work shifts, even during the night. Yes, you choose such a lifestyle because alternatives are available. If all humans refused to use services at nighttime, 80%+ of shift work would immediately disappear.
- Have varying bedtimes throughout the week. Staying up late at Friday and Saturday, unable to sleep on Sunday, and then slowly re-adjusting throughout the week. Next Friday, the pattern repeats.
- Sleep in very late during the week days. Again, most often sleeping in is a choice because you’ve improperly planned the night before.
- Taking random naps during the day – random naps almost always destroy the function of your circadian rhythm.
- And perhaps the worst of all: mandatory (birthday) parties late at night.
Let me give an analogy:
Your mouth has the purpose of eating and speaking. Your nose has the purpose of breathing. Confusing the two leads to a health issue that’s called “mouth breathing”.
In the same way, daytimes is when you should be awake. Nighttimes is when you should be asleep. Once again, confusing the two leads to health issues.
Conclusion: It Takes Two To Tango
Let me tell you a secret:
There’s no magic pill for optimized sleep quality. Just like no-one ever entered the Olympic games by coincidence, no-one attains control over the highest standard of sleep quality neither…
Sure, you may sleep perfectly by accident. But few people are aware of the true causes of sleep and able to manipulate their sleep quality for the better.
The age-old dictum saying “knowing is not enough, we must apply” is very apt in this case. Just knowing that you need to improve your sleep quality is not enough.
No, instead, you must choose.
You must choose you, instead of having society dictate when you should stay up.
Because if you let society dictate your choice, you’ll end up with a Master who does not really value your sleep.
And as I mentioned in the introduction of this blog post, if you don’t value your sleep, you don’t really value you!