The brain has at least three levels of functions that affect all aspects of our daily lives:
Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body – from the brain, heart, and lungs to metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance. Research shows that a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of disorders including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity.
Wear glasses that block blue light
Download an app such as f.lux to block blue light on your laptop or computer.
Install an app that blocks blue light on your smartphone. These are available for both iPhones and Android models.
Stop watching TV and turn off any bright lights 2 hours before heading to bed.
Melatonin is a key sleep hormone that tells your brain when it’s time to relax and head to bed. Often used to treat insomnia, melatonin may be one of the easiest ways to fall asleep faster
In one study, taking 2 mg of melatonin before bed improved sleep quality and energy the next day and helped people fall asleep faster.
One common issue is sleep apnea, which causes inconsistent and interrupted breathing. People with this disorder stop breathing repeatedly while sleeping
This condition may be more common than you think. One review claimed that 24% of men and 9% of women have sleep apnea
Other common medically diagnosed issues include sleep movement disorders and circadian rhythm sleep/wake disorders, which are common in shift workers.
If you’ve always struggled with sleep, it may be wise to consult your healthcare provider.
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Young T, Skatrud J, Peppard PE. Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea in adults. JAMA. 2004 Apr 28;291(16):2013-6. doi: 10.1001/jama.291.16.2013. PMID: 15113821.
Young T, Palta M, Dempsey J, Skatrud J, Weber S, Badr S. The occurrence of sleep-disordered breathing among middle-aged adults. N Engl J Med. 1993 Apr 29;328(17):1230-5. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199304293281704. PMID: 8464434.
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