Becoming a night owl
If you’ve been burning the midnight oil working on a project or getting things done around the house because there’s just too little time during the day, it could be affecting your sleeping habits.
Being a night owl isn’t always bad, but issues can arise when it starts to be considered a circadian rhythm disorder, according to Verywelll Health.
At nighttime, the circadian rhythm gets in sync with the body, which includes feeling sleepy and awake. For night owls, there is a delay in the timing of this after the sun goes down. This results in delayed sleep phase syndrome, which can lead to chronic insufficient sleep. According to the Keck Medicine of USC, this is linked to cardiovascular disease and poor mental health.
Aside from melatonin, Dasgupta suggested on the school blog that people “do things that are relaxing, like reading a book” to induce sleep on a regular cycle.
“You want to gradually transition into sleep; you don’t want your mind to be stimulated,” he said.
While power naps are good, napping too much can have the opposite of their intended effect which is to help make you more alert.
“Napping for an hour or longer increases your risk of falling into the deep stages of sleep. When this happens, you’ll wake up with something we call ‘sleep inertia’ (that groggy feeling where you don’t even know where you are),” Dr. Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, a Cleveland, Ohio-based neurologist told Cleveland Clinic’s Health Essentials. “Then your nap may not even be refreshing. Worse yet, you’ve probably slept off some of your ‘sleep debt.’”
Sleep Foundation says sleep debt is also known as sleep deficit and is the amount of sleep you need and what you actually get. So if you need eight hours of sleep, but only got five, you have a three-hour sleep deficit.
Hitting the snooze button
Although it’s tempting to extend your sleep time a little while longer by hitting “snooze,” doing so can negatively affect how you feel once you’re up and at ‘em.
“The extra sleep that you can get by hitting snooze comes in small chunks and isn’t good quality — and it can actually do you some harm,” the National Sleep Foundation said on Sleep.org. “Since the snooze session doesn’t last long enough for you to finish a complete sleep cycle, you could end up feeling super groggy for the first hour and a half of your day.”