What Makes a Good Night’s Sleep? June 9th, 2020

A good night’s sleep is that aspect of health pyramid that you should not compromise at any cost, but you still do – either by choice or otherwise.

When your body is sleep-deprived, its adverse effects immediately reflect in your physical and mental well-being. You feel grumpy and anxious. Your cognitive ability in terms of thinking and learning slows down. If the sleep deprivation continues for a longer period, your body may become a breeding ground for chronic sleep disorder, depression, weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases and other ailments.

That’s why health and lifestyle professionals always emphasis on the importance of quality sleep at night.

What is a Good Night’s Sleep?

According to the world’s largest sleep study, you need 7-8 hours optimum amount of sleep every night to keep your brain performing at its best. Kids and teens need more hours of sleep to support their growing years.

Your body goes through different sleep cycles, each of which is important in its way. However, deep sleep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) are considered the most essential to your overall well-being.

Some other factors that determine good sleep are:

  • Being able to fall asleep in less than an hour.
  • Uninterrupted sleep or waking up only once at night.
  • Waking up refreshed in the morning.

Causes of Poor Sleep

Surprisingly, most reasons of weak sleep are related to your lifestyle habits such as late-night eating, inadequate exercise, poor work-life balance, stress and screen time before bed. The light and temperature of room, bed and mattress comfort can also affect your sleep. Sleep disorders can also stem from medical conditions.

Holistic Ways to Sleep Better at Night

  • Bedtime Routine: Follow a consistent sleep ritual or bedtime routine that sends a message to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
  • Food Habits: Eat early, light and balanced dinner. Avoid consumption of caffeine and alcohol before sleep. Just make sure to keep a minimum of three hours gap between your last meal/beverage and sleep.
  • Exercise: Daily exercise is great, but you should avoid vigorous activities before going to bed because it puts your brain on an active mode.
  • Digital Detox: Limit your screen time before bed – the blue light emitted from electronic gadgets interferes with the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
  • Day Naps: Avoid irregular or long daytime naps.
  • Room Environment: Ensure that the room is clean and quiet, and the bed/mattress is comfortable. Remove the clutter from the bed, reduce the external noise and block any natural or artificial light.
  • Meditation: Practice meditation or deep breathing lying on your bed before sleep.
  • What not to do: Avoid sleeping pills unless it is prescribed by your doctor. If sleep deprivation persists for months, then you must seek professional advice.

A good night’s sleep does wonders for your body and mind. It is in your hands to ensure that you get it properly!

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