Sleep is something none of us can go without. Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. Many of us either skip sleep to get more out of each day or struggle to get the right amount. Turn your attention to sleep to get your life back under control. If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, making a few changes can get you on track. If your sleep problems continue, you might be suffering from insomnia. If you think that’s the case, don’t hesitate to go to your doctor to get help. For the rest of you, here’s a list of why sleep is important, and how you can ensure you’re getting enough.
WHY YOU NEED SLEEP
The obvious reason for needing sleep is the fact that, without it, you’re prone to exhaustion. You may be cutting down on those few hours sleep to get more done, but it won’t work. When you’re tired, your brain functions at a much slower rate. You’ll take longer to get things done anyway! On top of that, there are various other benefits to getting the right amount of sleep. Not getting enough sleep also leaves you open to various health problems. Your body is going to be spending so much energy on staying awake, that it won’t be able to fight illness. Not to mention that you’ll generally feel under the weather from exhaustion. So, how much sleep should you be getting? Between seven and nine hours is the recommended amount. We’re all different, but you’ll soon be able to tell how much is right for you.
GET THE RIGHT GEAR
Having the right sleeping apparatus is key to ensuring you get a good night. Focus on pillows and mattress. If you’re uncomfortable at night, it’ll be harder to get to sleep. You’re also more likely to wake through the night. In general, softer mattresses are less efficient than hard ones. Try out different mattresses to see which suits you. You might decide memory foam mattresses are your best bet. Or, you might want to go for a standard mattress that offers the support you need. Take the same care when choosing pillows. Again, everyone likes something a little different. Find what feels comfortable for you. Do you prefer pillows that are hard or soft? Choose, too, between pillows containing different material inside. You’ll also have to decide whether you sleep best with one pillow or two. Try all the different choices and take note of which way you sleep best.
GET INTO A GOOD ROUTINE
Routine is essential when it comes to sleep. Doing the same things before bed each night will let your body know it’s time to unwind. Your routine can be whatever suits you. It is recommended that you don’t look at electrical screens just before bed. The best bet is to clear your mind of thoughts by doing something like reading a book. That way, you won’t stay up thinking for a long time after you go to bed. Your routine could be as simple as drinking the same hot drink each night. Make sure you do this at least half an hour before bed so that you don’t have to wake up to go to the toilet. Make sure, too that you avoid caffeine. Even tea often contains caffeine. Opt, instead, for herbal options or hot drinks designed especially for bedtime. It may take a few weeks to get into this habit, but you’ll start seeing benefits before you know it. Try to go to bed at roughly the same time each night so that your body gets used to the routine faster. You’ll soon start feeling tired around that time.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO UNWIND
If a bedtime routine doesn’t seem like something you could achieve, get into the habit of giving yourself time to relax. If you go to bed minutes after finishing your evening work, you’re going to find sleep hard to come by. Make sure you set aside any tasks that need concentration or thought at least an hour before bed. That way, you’ll have time to quiet your mind before you have to sleep. The same goes for if you go out of an evening. Coming in from a night out, you’re going to be full of adrenaline and excitement. You won’t be able to go straight to sleep. Make sure you get home an hour before you need to go to bed so that you can clear your mind. This is where it can help to have a bedtime routine or drink. As soon as your brain catches a whiff of that drink, it’ll know it’s time to relax.
MAKE YOUR ROOM DARK
Darkness is always helpful when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Light has a habit of waking you up, even before you’re ready. If you live in a residential area, streetlights and car headlights can cause you a restless night. Even if you don’t live around such distractions, the morning light could wake you up far too early. Blinds are the most certain way of blocking out light disruptions. They black out your windows completely. Or, you could invest in a thick pair of curtains. Curtains with dark colours are perfect for this, as are curtains with backing. Bear in mind that waking to a dark room could leave you feeling disoriented in the morning. Your body may trick you into feeling tired each morning because it thinks it’s still night time. Even so, it’s a price worth paying to ensure you sleep well. The confusion is something you’ll soon get used to.
Following as many of these steps as possible will lead you to a much better night sleep. Don’t cut corners. You owe it to yourself to get the rest you need. You may worry about losing those extra hours, but you’ll soon make up for them with your increased productivity. Go ahead and give it a go!
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