The fast pace of modern life often makes it difficult to pause and rest. It can make getting a decent night’s sleep seem impossible. But, like food and exercise, sleep is essential for optimal health. Sleep enhances cognitive performance, emotions, and health.
Many illnesses and problems increase when people do not obtain enough quality sleep regularly. These vary from heart disease and stroke to obesity and memory.
Sleep quality. If your sleep is frequently interrupted, you’re not getting quality sleep. The quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity.
Why do we need to sleep?
People often think that sleep is just “downtime,” when a tired brain gets to rest. While you sleep, your brain is working. For example, sleep helps prepare your brain to learn, remember, and create. Technically, the brain operates because it alters its functions by clearing waste from the system.
Here are some of the healing processes that occur in our bodies, particularly while we sleep: We must properly comprehend our bodies and take care of them. When a step is incorrect, the body’s mechanism goes for a toss.
Some people have conditions that prevent them from getting enough quality sleep, no matter how hard they try. These problems are called sleep disorders. If you have been facing this issue for a long time, you must see a doctor immediately. Sleep disorders can harm your health badly.
A good diet and enough sleep go hand in hand. It is critical to take care of both while juggling many other responsibilities in life. Many people gain weight and only concentrate on their diets. But the fact is, we are not getting enough sleep, and we also gain weight because we are sleep deprived.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends.
- Get some exercise every day. But not close to bedtime.
- Go outside. Try to get natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Avoid nicotine and caffeine. Both are stimulants that keep you awake. Caffeine can take 6–8 hours to wear off completely.
- Don’t take naps after mid-afternoon. And keep them short.
- Avoid alcohol and large meals before bedtime. Both can prevent deep, restorative sleep.
- Limit electronics before bed. Try reading a book, listening to soothing music, or doing another relaxing activity instead.
- Create a good sleeping environment. Keep the temperature cool if possible. Get rid of sound and light distractions. Make it dark. Silence your cell phone.
- Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and do a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy again.
- See your health care provider if nothing you try helps. They can determine if you need further testing. They can also help you learn new ways to manage stress.
If you can invest time in movies, cafes, friends, and many other leisure activities, start looking at your sleep time.
It’s never too late! Healthy Sleep is after all a Healthy Mind.