How to Get Good Sleep?
Good sleep is very important for a healthy body and mind. And good sleep follows good sleeping habits. Poor sleep has a very adverse effect on our health. Researches show a direct relationship between poor sleep and negative health. Lack of sleep can cause hormone fluctuations resulting in mood swings, lack of proper brain functioning, weakness in the body, etc.
Lately, over the past few decades, the number of people suffering from insomnia, lack of sleep, low quality and quantity of sleep, and many other sleep-related problems have been increasing. The world we live in is a very hectic one. All the stress, mental strain, also affects our sleeping schedule.
Your sleep is affected by what you do your whole day and especially a little before going to bed. Your sleep habits are very important for good quality sleep. So, in this article, we will see the benefits of good sleep, the consequences of lack of sleep, and what can be done to get a great sleep every night.
Benefits of Good Sleep & Consequences of Improper Sleep –
Body Weight & Eating Habits –
Poor sleep is strongly related to weight gain. Studies show that children and adults with improper sleep were 89% and 50%, respectively, more likely to develop obesity. The lack of sleep affects our hormones which can lead to weight gain. Lack of sleep can lead to a bigger appetite and can make you consume more calories, studies show. It is caused because of fluctuations in appetite hormones. Sleep deprivation causes higher levels of Ghrelin (appetite-stimulating hormone) and low levels of Leptin (appetite-suppressing hormone). While getting a good and proper sleep keeps the hormone levels in check resulting in sound eating habits and leveled weight of the body.
Concentration, Productivity, and Performance –
Sleep affects our cognitive abilities, concentration, productivity, and performance, etc. A study showed that people with long work hours and less sleep made 36% more serious medical errors than the people who allowed more sleep. Another study found that sleep deprivation can damage some parts of the brain to the degree as alcohol intoxication would. Also, less sleep reduces our accuracy, speed, reaction time, strength and makes us feel tired. The great difficulty to perform other physical activities is also experienced. On the other hand, good sleep increases your cognitive abilities, your concentration level, productivity, accuracy, speed, reaction time, and strength and hence a good night’s sleep can affect your overall performance.
Heart Disease and Strokes –
Quality and quantity of sleep play a very important role in our health. Many studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep are at a greater risk of heart disease and stroke than those who sleep 7 to 8 hours every night. Also, less sleep, say less than six hours every night can cause insulin reduction and cause blood sugar. Studies show that people getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night for a long time are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. While getting proper sleep not only increases your mental abilities but also your physical health and keeps your hormone levels in check too.
This one is quite well known among people, mental health issues are strongly linked to lack of sleep because sleep deprivation causes a negative effect on our cognitive abilities in many ways. Health issues such as depression are highly caused due to a lack of proper sleep. People even get suicidal thoughts and other mental issues due to improper sleep. So, getting about 8 hours of sleep every night is very important not only for your physical health but also for your mental health and productivity both physically and mentally.
A study of two weeks, monitored the development of the common cold in people and their sleeping time. They found that those who slept less than 7 hours were 3 times more at risk to develop a cold than those who slept 8 hours. As mentioned, again and again, lack of sleep causes negative effects on all of the systems of our bodies and as a result, we feel not at our best in many ways.
Tips to Help Get a Good Sleep –
Exposure to Light –
Exposure to natural light in the daytime is very beneficial, it helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. People with Insomnia experience improved sleep quality and duration because of daytime bright light exposure and also reduced time to fall asleep by 83%. However, nighttime light exposure does the polar opposite. It happens also because of the circadian rhythm, light exposure makes it trick your brain into thinking it is still daytime which result reduces the hormone level of melatonin (the hormone that makes you feel relaxed and help get a deep sleep). Blue light is considered the worst in this matter which is emitted by electronic devices like smartphones, computers, and TVs.
Don’t consume any caffeine late in the day, evening, or at night. Caffeine is consumed because it enhances focus, energy, concentration, and activeness. But late in the day or near the night it stimulates your nervous system and boosts energy that can lead astray your body from naturally relaxing at night. Studies show that consuming caffeine 6 to 8 hours before bed can worsen sleep quality, so, don’t drink coffee after 3 to 4 p.m.
Napping Habits –
Short power naps are always helpful and beneficial to the body and in regaining our strength and focus. On the other hand, irregular and long naps can have a negative effect on sleep. Our bodies have an internal clock and taking daytime naps can confuse our body clock and can result in you struggling to sleep at night. Daytime naps for 30 minutes or less are known as short power naps and enhance brain functioning, shows by a study, while longer naps harm your sleep quality and health.
Night-time alcohol consumption has a negative effect on your sleep hormones. Alcohol is said to cause sleep apnea, snoring, and disruption in sleep. It also affects melatonin production that affects our sleep. Alcohol consumption at night also decreases HGH (Human Growth Hormone) which affects your circadian rhythm and affect your sleep schedule.
Bedroom Environment –
It is highly believed that the environment of our bedroom is a key factor in stimulating sleep. The bedroom environment includes temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangements. Numerous studies show that external noise, like traffic noises, can cause poor sleep and long-term health issues. In a study of women, it was noticed that 50% of the participants experienced better sleep quality without all the noises. Apart from external noises, try to minimize light from bulbs or LEDs, blue light from electronic devices and make sure your bedroom is a quiet, clean, relaxing space. Also, the temperature of the room matters a lot. It is harder to sleep in a warm place or too cold of a place. The ideal temperature is thus 70° Fahrenheit or 20° Celsius.