Sleep is a very important activity of daily life. Without it, we won’t feel refreshed and energized to face the challenges of a new day. We’ll also feel grumpier and look a lot older than our age. Dark skin under our eyes, persistent headaches, and very puffy eyes are just some of the signs that we see in people who haven’t really had that much sleep. But what deprives us of this invaluable human activity? You’d be surprised to learn these 4 unexpected things that can deprive you of body-recharging sleep.
- Being in love
You’d think that being in love will make you feel very satisfied, very relaxed, and, thus, sleep a lot better. You’d be surprised to know that it is actually the opposite. While love is something that we really cannot quantify in very measurable terms, the changes it does to the brain somehow explains why a lot of people who are madly in love hardly feel the need to sleep. It has something to do with the increase in dopamine and the reduction in serotonin. Dopamine is your feel-good neurotransmitter. It makes feel so happy, feel so alive that it suppresses your body’s natural urge to go to sleep. On the other hand, serotonin is what makes you feel fulfilled, content, and relaxed. Since this is decreased, you won’t feel the need to sleep because you’re not relaxed yet. We’re not saying, though that being in love is a bad thing. It’s just that it has a way of messing up you sleep.
- Full moon
Having your sleep messed up during a full moon has nothing to do with you being a werewolf, if you believe in such things. The current observation is that 46 percent of individuals somehow experience problems in their sleep during a full moon. This can range from a shorted length of sleep, prolonged time needed to fall asleep, and even a 30 percent reduction in the quality of their sleep. Exactly how the moon affects sleep is still a mystery though. One of the theories being forwarded is that this can be traced to our hunter instincts when man still lived in caves. Prehistoric man went out of their caves to hunt in a full moon because many of the wild animals are easy prey during this time. It is highly possible that this hunter’s trait is coded into our gene. Nobody knows. Check it out come next full moon.
- Peppermint toothpaste
It does feel refreshing and cool to the mouth. That’s what peppermint flavored toothpastes bring us. Unfortunately, it is also a known stimulant. You already know what stimulants do. These enhance alertness, stimulate the brain, and decrease your sense of fatigue or tiredness. How else will you feel sleepy if you have all of these things working against you? The thing is, this claim has been established to be true in genuine clinical trials where other factors have been meticulously controlled. The next time you brush your teeth before hitting the sack, check if it’s peppermint-flavored. If it is, skip the brushing for now and buy non-peppermint-flavored toothpaste first thing the following morning.
- Time zones
Well, if you’re a frequent flyer, you know what we mean. This is especially true for those that fly over several time zones. The thing is that our body is governed by an internal clock. It is more like an alarm clock that tells our body when it is time to sleep and when it is time to be up and moving about. This body clock is closely tied to the sun and the moon in the sky. If you are in a place where it is day and you moved to the other side of the globe, the time it would take you to get there tells your body clock that it will already be night in that part of the globe. However, since the earth is not flat, when you do arrive there, it will already be daylight. Your body clock is now more confused than ever. It is already programmed to sleep but because there is the light of day, it strives to stay awake. So, when night comes and it’s time to sleep, you cannot because the alarm clock says it is already day.
These things may look like they don’t have any effect at all on one’s sleep, but they do. And there are plenty more.