“Why aren’t you exercising more?”
“When was the last time you’ve had a physical exam?”
Most likely, men reading this have been asked one of these questions recently. But, year-after-year, there’s always one item that is left off everyone’s “get healthy” to-do list: sleep.
For most men, the National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep a night. While that may seem like a lot, sleep is needed for one’s body and overall well-being. More than just feeling tired and irritable, insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
Just think: all of these could be improved by heading to bed an hour or two earlier.
So what’s keeping you from getting the rest you need? Here are some of the most common sleep mistakes committed by men today:
- A late-night workout: Exercise and sleep have more of a complicated relationship then most think. Working out at night elevates your core temperature, signally to your body that it’s not yet time for sleep. If possible, avoid exercising 5-6 hours before bedtime.
- A protein-packed nighttime snack: Protein indirectly converts into dopamine in the brain which at high amounts can keep you awake. Wait until the morning for a high-protein meal and opt for a carb-based bedtime snack instead.
- Hitting snooze: Just don’t do it. In reality, you need at least a 10-minute block for sleep to be refreshing, making the snooze button a waste of time. Try placing your alarm clock across the room if you need help breaking the habit.
While visiting the doctor and living a healthier lifestyle are important, it’s also essential to add sleep to your health to-do list. Once you understand how significant sleep is to your body and health, it becomes pretty clear – the better you sleep, the better you’ll live.