We All Need A Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is one of the great mysteries of life. A good night’s sleep is one of the cornerstones of health. Six to eight hours per night seems to be the optimal amount of sleep for most adults. Too much or too little can have adverse effects on your health. If you want a good night’s sleep here are 20 facts.
Optimizing Your Sleep
- Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep.
- Snoring is the primary cause of sleep disruption for approximately 90 million American adults; 37 million on a regular basis.
- More than eight in ten people think that people often or sometimes misuse prescription sleep aids.
- Some studies show the use of melatonin shortens the time it takes to fall asleep and reduces the number of awakenings.
- One of the primary causes of excessive sleepiness among Americans is self-imposed sleep deprivation.
- People who don’t sleep enough are more likely to have bigger appetites due to the fact that their leptin levels (the appetite-regulating hormone) fall, promoting appetite increase.
- A seasonal disorder is believed to be influenced by the changing patterns of light and darkness that occur with the approach of winter.
- Wind down and relax before going to bed. Try to go over the day’s activities and work out a plan of action for the next day. Do not exercise too late in the evening.
Lifestyle Suggestions for Good Night’s Sleep
- The body NEVER adjusts to night shift work!
- In general, exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and have a more sound sleep.
- Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise.
- In general, most healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Although, some individuals are able to function with sleepiness or drowsiness after as little as six hours of sleep. Others can not perform at their peak unless they’ve slept ten hours.
- It is best to have a regular sleep pattern. Try to go to bed at the same time every evening and get up at around the same time every morning. Improved sleep will not happen immediately but if good sleep habits are maintained, sleep will certainly get better. Preferably between 9:30 and 10:00 pm.
- Make sure your bedroom is comfortable. You should have a quiet, dark room with comfortable bedding and good temperature control.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes. Caffeine (tea, coffee, cola drinks) and the nicotine in cigarettes are stimulants that can keep you awake.
- Avoid daytime naps. Sleeping during the day will make it much more difficult to have a good night’s sleep. If a nap is necessary, for example, because of a late-night, then limit this to about thirty minutes. Make sure that you are awake for at least four hours before going back to bed. Don’t allow yourself to fall asleep in front of the TV-not even for a minute.
- Don’t lie awake watching the clock. Watching the time on a clock can just make you anxious about not being asleep. If possible, take the clock out of your bedroom. If you need the clock for the alarm, turn it around so that you cannot see the time. Resist the temptation to look at the time on your electronic devices. These should be charged overnight outside of the bedroom.
- A bed is for sleeping. Smartphones and other hand-held devices can interfere with your sleep. Try to avoid using your computer or other electronic screens within one hour of bedtime. The blue lights emitted by screens reduce the production of the hormone, melatonin, which makes us sleepy. It is better not to sleep with your TV or other devices turned on. Your mind needs to be in the habit of know that if you are in bed, you are there to sleep. Don’t stay in bed if you are wide awake.
- Sleep deprivation is a chronic condition these days. Interrupted or impaired sleep can weaken your immune system. Cause a pre-diabetic state, and make you feel hungry even if you’ve already eaten. It can seriously impair your memory and impact your ability to think clearly.
- Increase your melatonin. Ideally, it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime and absolute complete darkness at night. If that isn’t possible you may want to consider a melatonin supplement.
I’m Shirley J Noah, I write about living well, including good habits for happiness, health, productivity, and success.
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