The importance of sleep
Key facts about sleeping
Understanding sleep, the power of it and how to get as much high-quality sleep as possible is one of the healthiest things we can do. Sleep is a naturally recurring state. It is restorative, and without it we are not able to work, learn, create and communicate at our highest level. With time, lack of sleep can lead to mental and physical breakdown. Sleep has also been shown to be linked to the immune system. When we sleep, our metabolic rates reduce and free radical production is decreased, allowing restorative processes to take over. Sleep supports higher-level cognition functions such as decision making, reasoning and memory.
Effects of sleep deprivation
Everyone experiences trouble sleeping from time to time but problems may occur when regular disturbances happen frequently and these can begin to affect your daily life.
The most common effects of lack of sleeping include: fatigue & lethargy, foggy mind, reduced creativity and problem-solving skills, concentration and memory problems, difficulty making decisions, reduced immunity, frequent colds and infections, increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, & other health problems, lack of motivation, inability to cope with stress, moodiness and irritability, impaired motor skills & increased risk of accidents.
How much sleep do we need
There is no protocol to how many hours of sleep we should get, the best way to evaluate it is to monitor how we feel throughout the day. If energy is low, memory is poor and we don’t feel alert, then chances are we need more sleep. Adults usually will beneficiate the most from 7 to 9 hours of sleep. The jump from 6 to 7 daily hours of sleeping has a significant impact on our health and wellbeing.
How to sleep better
Good nutrition habits can drastically improve sleep quality, particularly in the last hours before bed. Consider the following: avoid eating large meals before bed, avoid drinking too much liquid, avoid alcohol, avoid caffeine in the latter part of the day, and exercise daily.
Reducing stress can help to get a better nights sleep: write down any problems or issues on paper, conduct some deep breathing techniques, keep the bedroom clean and tidy, use meditation and relaxation techniques, have a hot shower or bath, avoid any stressing tasks or thoughts before bed, do something you enjoy before bed.
Prepare the bedroom for sleep: ensuring the bedroom is optimized for relaxing, unwinding and sleeping is essential. Get your bedroom ready: eliminate noises that may disturb your sleep, keep bedroom at the right temperature (18-22C), ensure the room is dark enough, remove all electronic devices, ensure your bed is comfortable enough.