Sweet dreams

From the moon to your marital status, here are some zzz’s interrupters.

Without adequate sleep, your health, both mental and physical, as well as your ability to focus, seriously deteriorates. And let’s be honest, without an ample amount of rest, none of us are good company.

There are a few tried and tested ways to get a better night’s sleep, such as not having caffeine after a certain time of the day or keeping your gadgets out of your bedroom. But there are also factors that you wouldn’t expect to be the cause of your sleeplessness. They are listed as follows.

Age:  A recent study found that as a person ages, the parts of his or her brain that deal with regulating sleep fundamentally start to putrefy, which leads to less non-REM sleep. This drop off in non-REM sleep can start sooner than you imagine: around your mid-thirties.

Genetics:  If you have a proclivity to stay up till late, it may be because of a gene mutation. Scientists at Rockefeller University in New York City studied a gene called “CRY1,” which helps normalize our circadian rhythms when we feel tired.

Gender:  Recent studies have found that women need more shut eye than men because of the more complicated ways they use their brains during sleep.

Career:  People who work shifts, doctors, firefighters, bartenders, certainly have sleep cycles that get disturbed due to their schedules.

Weekends:  After a long, stressful week, of course your preference would be to get as much rest as possible, but sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday can lead to disrupted sleep during the rest of the week due to incessant social jet lag.

Your hometown:  A recent study from the CDC looked at the sleeping habits of people across the United States and found the most well rested state in the country was South Dakota. The one that reported the worst time falling asleep was Hawaii.

Marital status:  That same research from the CDC also looked at different demographics to figure out how well people slept based on their relationship status. The study found that people in a relationship got better sleep in contrast to single people. Sixty-seven percent of married people slept seven hours or more a night compared to 62 percent of people who never married and 56 percent of those who were divorced, separated or widowed.

Education:  The CDC also identified that “the prevalence of healthy sleep duration was highest among respondents with a college degree or higher” at 71.5 percent.

Your choice of toothpaste or tea: Peppermint is an essential way to keep you alert and focused, as witnessed by a study conducted by Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia in 2011. If you’re sleepy and need to meet a deadline, peppermint tea might be a helpful solution to help you stay vigilant, but if you want a soothing beverage before bed, try something else. Just avoid citrus, which has similar effects to peppermint. And probably brush your teeth earlier in the evening.

Air pollution:  A recent study found out that air pollution, precisely nitrogen dioxide, influences our ability to sleep well. City dwellers in particular are at risk on top of the other stressors intrinsic to living in scampering metropolitan centers.

The full moon:  Yes, seriously. A study in 2016 found that children’s sleep is disrupted with respect to the patterns of moon.

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