How To Get The Right Amount Of Sleep
“Hey, night owl or early bird, are you getting enough Zs to get through the day?” Let’s discuss something frequently ignored in our hectic lives: sleep. How many times have you dragged yourself through the day, wishing for that additional shot of caffeine to keep your eyes open? Everyone has been there. But have you ever thought if your sleeping habits are to blame for your constant exhaustion or lack of focus? How much sleep do you require? What is the right amount of sleep? Is it six hours? What, eight hours? Somewhere in the middle? What about the quality of your sleep – the lovely unbroken nights versus the restless tossing and turning?
It’s time to explore the intriguing realm of sleep and discover the secrets to living a well-rested life. In this post, we’ll share scientific insights and offer practical advice to help you strike the appropriate balance between rest and exercise. So, if you’re ready to say goodbye to sluggish mornings and drab days, let’s begin this adventure together and discover the route to receiving the sleep you deserve.
For the quick forgetters, let’s start with why sleep is so essential and what having the right amount of sleep does to our body:
Benefits of Sleep:
1) Enhanced Cognitive Function:
Imagine waking up with a clear mind, ready to meet problems and absorb information like a sponge after a good night’s rest. It occurs because sleep is associated with cognitive functions such as memory retention, problem-solving abilities, and creativity. While you sleep, your brain sorts and integrates information, making difficult decisions seem more achievable.
2) Emotional Resilience:
Have you ever noticed how tiny annoyances can feel like enormous obstacles when you’re sleep-deprived? Adequate sleep works like an expressive buffer, allowing you to handle stress, anxiety, and emotional swings. The right amount of sleep is the hidden component keeping your emotional responses under control and your mood stable.
3) Physical Rejuvenation:
When you go to bed, your body does not clock out; instead, it enters a state of repair and rejuvenation. Deep sleep allows your muscles to restore, tissues to rebuild, and your immune system to recharge. So it’s not just for beauty but also essential for your complete bodily well-being.
4) Heart Health:
Consider sleep a calming salve for your cardiovascular system. Regular, high-quality sleep is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular problems. It’s as though your heart takes a breather before reviving another day.
5) Weight Loss:
Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep if you’re attempting to lose a few pounds. Sleep is essential for controlling hunger hormones and preventing unwanted cravings and overeating. It’s like having your personal appetite trainer!
6) Improved Immunity:
While you sleep, your body’s defense mechanisms are at work. Sleep aids your immune system in producing and distributing the substances required to fight infections, viruses, and other intruders. So, the next time you get some shut-eye, you’re improving your immune system.
Getting the right amount of sleep involves combining two different factors; your daily routine and the environment where you sleep.
Your routine is as crucial as your environment. If any of the two is inadequate, sleep will get affected.
The two factors are similar to preparing for a quiz. When you study well for the examination but fail to write during the test, you will not get the marks, even though you studied hard. Similarly, if you do not practice, you will not score very well.
Managing Your Environment
Let us talk about how we can manage our environment and work on the parameters to help us get the right amount of sleep:
Bedroom: Your bedroom is your sanctuary. You have to keep it in top-class condition to let it serve its purpose. Remove all unwanted furniture, items, or other obstructions in the room. Any digital device is a strict no for the bedroom. The wall colors should be soothing and radiate calmness. Make sure to keep the bedroom as minimalistic as possible. It will help you reduce the distractions in the bedroom.
Darkness: Having the room completely dark is essential. An excerpt from the 5 AM Revolution, “Sleeping in complete darkness is important in getting a good night’s sleep because darkness increases the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain and controls the body’s sleep cycle. Melatonin is believed to cause a person to fall asleep faster and sleep better.” You can use a sleep mask to achieve complete darkness. You may be uncomfortable in the early days but get used to it in the long term. If you consume light in the bedroom, it reduces leptin in your body which leads to hunger. Hunger can cause you to have ineffective sleep.
Noise: Noise while sleeping can affect your sleeping cycle and prevent you from slumber. Make sure not to have any equipment with sound in your bedroom. Noise can lead to elevated heart rates, causing an increase in stress. A safe practice is to use Ear Plugs that can cancel out external noise to a large extent. Using earplugs can improve your quality of sleep, resulting in reducing the overall requirement for sleep.
Temperature: The optimal temperature for the bedroom is one where you do not sweat or shiver. Try to learn about your ideal body temperature and find out the range you sleep better. It can help you understand what changes to make in any other environment to help you sleep faster.
The quality of sleep you get at night decides how productive your next day is going to be. And how you spend your day decides how much quality sleep you are going to get at night. It is a never-ending cycle, so after understanding how to control the parameters of sleep at night, let us know about the routine to undergo during the day to get the best sleep.
Let’s talk about different activities you can perform daily to prepare you for a good night’s sleep.
Get 30 Minutes of Sunlight: Receiving the sunlight tells your body it’s the start of the new day. Sunlight helps you reset your body clock. Thus, exposing yourself to natural light should be the first thing in the morning to do. If you regularly wake up at a similar time and do the above-said things, you will be more likely to sleep quickly at night and achieve a constant routine.
Drinking Enough Water: Water makes up 60% of your body, but people have forgotten this. Your body needs to be constantly hydrated. Your body requires water to function at optimal levels. Drink water after you get up, and remember to drink 250-300 ml water every 2 hours.
Exercise: Spending time regularly is another contributing factor to a good night’s sleep. Exercise helps to stay fit, and the cells regenerate quickly. When your overall body functions at an optimal level, your body demands less sleep. And you are left with more hours to do your work.
Power Nap: One of the least talked about rituals is the power nap. The industrial revolution has led to the mentality of working non-stop like robots. People look down on those who preach about taking an afternoon nap. They feel it is the habit of lazy and inefficient people to take a break. But various studies have shown that the afternoon nap has proven to be a game changer in productivity.
Dinner: Eat the kind of dishes at dinners that soothe your body. There are two categories of foods, one that makes you active and alert and the other that makes you restful. Pick the dishes that come into the latter. These lists might include:
Potatoes or other dense dishes
Fatty or spicy food
Things Affecting Your Sleep
Various rituals affect our sleep cycle. You can test for yourself. While you were young, you had less trouble sleeping in because your patterns were limited. But now, due to your career and other things, you have picked a lot of habits, and some of these practices are causing your sleep problems.
Some of them are:
- Drinking Too Much Caffeine: Drinking caffeine prevents you from getting drowsy. Its effect stays for around 4-5 hours. If you are among those who drink coffee regularly and quite often, you may want to slow things down to get quality sleep. You drink coffee to fight drowsiness and sleepiness, and when you get too much of it, you do not achieve rest, thus making you sleepy and exhausted, and the cycle continues.
- Alcohol In Your Body: In how many instances have you woken up completely fresh after a night party? It’s difficult to remember. That is because alcohol interrupts your sleep cycle, and you never get to the stage where you receive deep sleep. Your sleep becomes fragmented. Avoid drinking alcohol after the afternoon.
- Smoking: Smoking during evening hours and before bedtime disturbs the sleep cycle as nicotine interrupts it. You find it harder to slumber, making you restless and agitated.
- Technology: The blue light emitting from your devices prevents the production of a chemical called melatonin that reduces sleep demand. Prevent using the device 2-3 hours before bedtime for quality sleep and a fully rested body.
Understanding these small things can be helpful to you. Do not abruptly change your routine to follow these suggestions. Try one thing at a time and see if you notice any positive change. Research more data according to your needs and find what suits you best.