Steps to a Better Sleep

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Getting through the workday is the mildest consequence of not sleeping enough. Sure, your creativity goes down and you tend to make mistakes, and it takes twice as long to get things done.

But not getting enough sleep is also bad for your health, especially over time .
First off, you’re perhaps more likely to get hurt, and your immunity goes down, so that means you’re also more likely to get sick. Your blood pressure can rise, which makes you more vulnerable to cardiac diseases. Plus, you might pack on a few extra pounds as you will need to eat more to compensate for your lack of good sleep.

Sounds scary, so let’s take a moment to focus on the good stuff shut-eye does for your body:  While you’re asleep, you brain rids itself of waste, cells regenerate, muscle tears repair, and inflammation goes down.  Sleep also reduces stress. It makes our thyroid and our hormones and all of those things work better.  If you’re not sleeping enough, it’s likely for one of two reasons: You’re not carving out the time you need for it, or it’s tough to fall or stay asleep.

There are all kinds of reasons not to commit to sleeping enough. Unless you’re the parent of a newborn or dealing with some other demanding circumstance  as in, someone’s life depends on you being awake ?you probably can find enough time to sleep. Seven to eight hours of continuous zzz should do it, though sleep duration varies among people, according to many health experts.

A great way to set yourself up for a good night sleep is to unplug, both literally and figuratively. That means not being in front of a screen at least an hour before bed, and making sure that you have a nice long uninterrupted sleep.  Before sleep, you can do something introspective and quieting such as, lighting a candle, reading, or spending quiet time with your pet.  And right before bed, remember to breathe slowly and deeply,
listen to quiet relaxing music, so as to help you relax, make sure your room is dark and neither too hot nor too cold (cooler temps tend to be better).  Also physical activity earlier in the day will do you good, as will being outside, in part because natural light helps regulate your body clock. You’re looking for quality sleep, and both nudge you toward smooth snoozing.

Finally if you still have trouble sleeping, due to sleep apnea, which is a very real affliction, you can perhaps find a clinically proven sleep aid to help regulate your breathing while asleep.

Finally, your bedroom should be all about your bed. That means your phone is put away and your paperwork isn’t piled up on your sheets.

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