Sleep is considered to be the foundation of physical energy, yet many people forsake sleep for longer work hours because they believe it will lead to greater productivity. On the contrary, research has found that great performers sleep more than the average person.
Sleep deprivation has been proven to contribute to significant health problems. People who sleep less than the recommended seven to nine hours a night have decreased immune responses. In addition, lack of sleep decreases the levels of a hormone that helps people control how much they eat. The Harvard Nurses’ Study discovered a strong link between chronic sleep deprivation and health problems like breast and colon cancer, as well as heart disease.
A lack of sleep also affects the ability to acquire knowledge. While asleep, people process, consolidate, and stabilize their memory. At work, employees who have insufficient sleep do not think effectively and suffer from bad moods. This can lead to poor judgment, especially when people are under pressure.
To promote better sleep habits, I would recommend setting aside personal worries before going to bed, taking steps to relax at least 30 to 60 minutes before trying to sleep, and observing a specific bedtime each night.
Here are some “Sleep Hygiene”
1. Sleep only when sleepy. This reduces the time you are awake in bed. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something boring until you feel sleepy. Sit quietly in the dark or read the warranty on your refrigerator. Don’t expose yourself to bright light while you are up. The light gives cues to your brain that it is time to wake up.
2. Don’t take naps. This will ensure you are tired at bedtime. If you just can’t make it through the day without a nap, sleep less than one hour, before 3 pm.
3. Get up and go to bed the same time every day and even on weekends! When your sleep cycle has a regular rhythm, you will feel better.
4. Refrain from exercise at least 4 hours before bedtime. Regular exercise is recommended to help you sleep well, but the timing of the workout is important. Exercising in the morning or early afternoon will not interfere with sleep. Develop sleep rituals. It is important to give your body cues that it is time to slow down and sleep. Listen to relaxing music, read something soothing for 15 minutes, have a cup of caffeine free tea, do relaxation exercises.
5. Only use your bed for sleeping. Refrain from using your bed to watch TV, pay bills, do work or reading. So when you go to bed your body knows it is time to sleep. Sex is the only exception.
6. Stay away from caffeine, nicotine and alcohol at least 4-6 hours before bed. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, chocolate and some prescription and non-prescription drugs contain caffeine. Cigarettes and some drugs contain nicotine. Alcohol may seem to help you sleep in the beginning as it slows brain activity, but you will end end up having fragmented sleep.
7. Have a light snack before bed. If your stomach is too empty, that can interfere with sleep. However, if you eat a heavy meal before bedtime, that can interfere as well. Dairy products and turkey contain tryptophan, which acts as a natural sleep inducer. Tryptophan is probably why a warm glass of milk is sometimes recommended.
Here’s an interesting video, Hope you would love it the way i did!
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