How often have we found ourselves forgetting if we watered the plants, if we have a meeting later or even if we ate breakfast? Most of the time, bad memory arises because of a lack of sleep. Not having adequate amount of sleep also affects physical and mental health. An adult should have at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Not sleeping for about three days may result in the individual experiencing delusions.

However, it is difficult for many of us to get enough sleep as technology improves. Over the years, we have had major advancements in televisions, the internet and video games. Although this is a good thing, it also prevents us from sleeping early. From having a variety of channels to watch, to constantly updating social media platforms, we have brought these devices to our beds, thus, decreasing the amount of time we get to sleep.

Sleep is important because it helps our body to repair itself. It also helps our brains to consolidate information learnt and process memories. Depriving ourselves of sleep means having impaired learning. Not having adequate amount of sleep can worsen an individual’s depression and anxiety levels as well. It may cause them to retain more negative memories, think about suicide and not benefit from therapy because their brains are not able to process information.

Look through the below checklist to see if you have an unhealthy sleep cycle!

Do you do any of these before or during your bedtime?

  • Use phone/laptop 2 hours before bedtime
  • Use phone while in bed
  • Consume caffeine 6 hours before bedtime
  • Take long naps during the day
  • Sleep for less than 8 hours at night
  • Have a cigarette before bed time (cigarettes contain nicotine – it is a stimulant that may keep you awake)
  • Not following a sleep routine – sleeping at different timings every day may result in an individual facing difficulties to fall asleep easily

What can we do?

  • Mini changes before bedtime: Avoid caffeine and energy drinks.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise helps people to sleep easily and feel more energetic during the day.
  • Maintain environment: Bedroom should only be used for sleeping and relaxation. Avoid working from your bedroom or using mobile devices.
  • Relaxation techniques: Try deep breathing, listening to slow music or dimming the lights before going to bed.
  • Routine: Avoid sleeping at different timing each day and make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.