Hello Everyone. Today’s article is contributed by David.
Getting a good night’s sleep is often easier said than done. We all lead busy lives and when there’s so much to do, sleep tends to get sacrificed in favour of getting through the tasks of the day. And although this is understandable, we need to be aware that scrimping on sleep is a bad idea.
So why is sleep so important? The hours we spend asleep in bed are the precious downtime our bodies need in order to carry out maintenance and repair work on our systems. Cell renewal and replacement occur as we sleep, so it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the less we sleep, the less repair work our bodies get. Over time this can have negative implications for our performance and our health.
Everybody knows that great feeling after a good night’s sleep. The one where mental focus is razor sharp, skin is plumped up and dewy and dark circles beneath the eyes have gone – such is the power of a good sleep. It’s no surprise to learn that people who get more sleep have elevated levels of the depression-defeating substance serotonin, giving them an edge when it comes to beating the blues. Other great benefits associated with more sleep include reduced stress levels, lower blood pressure, weight loss and a reduction in chronic inflammation. So many reasons to get more sleep, and yet we never get enough. Really, is falling into bed that difficult?
Our mental performances are greatly enhanced by a decent sleep. Cognitive function, memory and reasoning skills are all sharpened up when we manage to get enough shut-eye. In fact, the benefits of sleep are so huge it really makes a lot of sense to make sure we are getting enough of this precious, free elixir.
If a good night’s sleep is elusive, here are some tips to help improve the chances of a long slumber:
Our bodies are very sensitive to routine. Always wake up and go to sleep at the same time in order to keep the body’s circadian rhythms balanced. Keeping a regular sleep cycle will make it far more likely that you nod-off easily when your head hits the pillow. Don’t be tempted to sleep in at weekends, as this will disrupt the established cycle.
Is the room comfortable? Ensure the bedroom temperature is just right, not too hot or cold, and that the space is calm and quiet. The darker the room, the better the chances of sleeping will be. Control light levels at the windows with custom fitted shutters that can be fully closed or partially open, according to your needs. Although a peaceful environment is recommended, some people with sleep problems find the soothing sounds of a CD with birdsong or waves breaking is conducive to restful sleep.
Relaxing before bedtime increases chances of sleep. Avoid too much screen-time on computers or tablets close to bedtime. Don’t drink coffee, tea or alcohol prior to bed, substituting it with a milky drink that doesn’t contain stimulants. A warm bath before bedtime is a good way of unwinding and getting the body prepared for lights out.
Nothing beats falling into a deep natural sleep, nor waking up the following day refreshed, energised and alert. If sleep is hard to come by, try these tips and see what tonight brings…