- Living healthy does not only mean eating well and exercising—but getting enough sleep is also important.
- Long-term sleep loss can contribute to numerous health issues, including heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression, and even psychosis.
- The body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain good physical health while sleeping.
One-third of adults in the U.S. aren’t getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, said: “Based on the weight of probably now about 10,000 empirical scientific studies, the number of people who can survive on six hours of sleep or less without showing any impairment, rounded to a whole number and expressed as a percent of the population, is zero.”
Phyllis Zee, chief of sleep medicine for the department of neurology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, said sleep impacts every part of the body. Therefore, when it comes to sleep loss, “Think about it as punching your other organs.”
To avoid the harmful consequences of sleep deficiency, follow these 10 simple tips to get better rest:
1. Limit napping at daytime
More than 30 minutes of nap time can take a toll, especially if there’s trouble sleeping at night.
2. Expose yourself to bright light during the day
Bright light, like the sun, helps keep circadian rhythms in sync, so the body naturally grows tired when it gets dark.
3. Avoid caffeine later in the day
Caffeine in coffee, sodas and tea will keep you up. So avoiding it later in the day will make it easier for the body to rest.
4. Have a regular sleep schedule
Going to sleep and waking up around the same time (even during weekends) can improve rest in the long run.
5. Minimize screen time before bed
Electronic devices like smartphones and laptops emit blue light, which tricks the body into thinking it’s daytime. It also delays the release of melatonin — the hormone that induces sleep.
6. Try a melatonin supplement
As a popular sleep aid, melatonin helps improve sleep and helps people relax faster.
7. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise fights insomnia and can help to make it easier to stay asleep longer. Avoid working out right before bed because it can increase alertness.
8. Avoid late-night eating
Don’t go to bed too hungry or too full because it will make it much harder to relax. Also, a large meal may affect the release of melatonin.
9. Make the room conducive to sleep
Have a comfortable bed with silence, cool temperatures, and a dark room.
10. Consult your doctor.
After trying these tips and there are still no good results, consider seeing a medical professional. A doctor can check if you have a sleep disorder.
Source: Inspire More