The older we get, the more we like to sleep. But not everyone can fall asleep relatively easily. Many have to struggle with falling asleep, often resulting in shorter sleeping hours and a dreadful morning the day after. Others, however, can sleep- but simply choose not to. Perhaps they’re preoccupied with their work or hobby. Regardless of the reason, there’s still a large percentage of people who would rather do something else than dedicate time to sleep.
Needless to say, this isn’t a healthy habit. Sleep is vital to our health, and a severe lack of it can result in a myriad of diseases. Let’s take a closer look.
Why is sleep important? We think we know the answer to that, but it can be a bit more technical than what you’d expect. Here is why it is essential.
Lack of sleep results in lethargy and loss of concentration. You spend the day moving sluggishly and get tired quickly. This results in less cognitive capabilities and difficulty focusing.
Sleeping is our primary recovery method. Our body “heals” itself through sleep, as it processes all the nutrients and vitamins we take throughout the day. Muscles recover through rest as well, making an adequate amount of sleep highly necessary if you move a lot during the day.
Manages Calories Better
Sleep deprivation is often linked to obesity and other weight problems. While there is no biological link, there is a psychological one. Researchers found out that staying up late causes one to be hungry, making them eat more than the required caloric amount for the day.
Boosts the Immune System
As mentioned before, it is during sleep where our body recovers. If you find yourself sickly and feeling tired all the time, perhaps it’s because of sleep deprivation. The appropriate amount of sleep can contribute to the body’s immune system, making you stronger against common diseases.
How You Can Sleep better
To help you sleep better at night, here are some practical tips you can apply. Of course, your experience will vary, but these are generally considered to be practical tips. Should you find it difficult, consider visiting a health professional.
Promote sleep through your Surroundings. One of the critical aspects to promote good sleep is to make sure that your environment allows you to. There must be little to no distractions, no noise or light that can jolt you awake. Consider using blackout curtains to make sure your room is dark, and use earplugs to help you block out noise as well.
Sleep in a better bed. There’s no denying that your bed affects the quality of your sleep. That’s why it’s critical to get a mattress that is appropriate for you, comfortable pillows, and bedding, to generally make the process of sleeping easier and better. Doing so will promote good sleeping habits, and a comfortable bed will allow you to sleep faster.
Make your sleeping pattern consistent. Your body clock or circadian rhythm is tied to the sun’s rising and setting. Following this pattern can help you improve your sleeping pattern in the long run. Instead of staying awake all the way till midnight and waking up when the sun’s already high up, adjust it and sleep earlier so you can also wake up at the right time in the morning.
Lay off the screen before sleeping. Many of us use our smartphones before sleeping, either to check our social media newsfeed before sleep or to play some idle games. However, if you still find yourself having difficulty sleeping, then perhaps this is the cause. Studies have shown that the light emanating from phones can actually wake you up, and all the activity on the phone keeps your mind occupied.
Exercise during the day. A clever way to trick your body into sleeping better is by exercising during the day. Expending your energy will require your body to rest, and it does so by sleeping. That’s why many fitness enthusiasts report better sleep, especially when compared to their experiences before becoming a fitness enthusiast.
We’ve talked about the dangers of sleep deprivation, and it’s not something you should simply ignore. Sleep plays a large part in our overall health and productivity and should always be a part of a healthy lifestyle. There are many illnesses that can be exacerbated by a lack of sleep or even illnesses that can cause a lack of sleep. Make sure to check with your doctor to gain a better understanding of your situation.