We constantly have to face new challenges in our daily lives – and sometimes these challenges mean that our sleep schedules are disrupted. Your sleep patterns take some time to adjust to your new schedules. Read more below on how you can ensure that this sleep disruption is kept to a minimum – and you awake refreshed and ready to face a new day.
Why do you need to Sleep?
While you are in dreamland your body is quietly working on rejuvenating and repairing the systems that are drained during the course of a busy day. Our bodies are coping with active changes throughout our lifetime – so getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important. While we sleep our bodies are engaged in maintenance such as:
Repairing tissues and growing muscle mass
Producing essential hormones
Actively arranging our memories
Poor sleep means that the body cannot properly engage in this maintenance. If inadequate sleeping habits persist we run the risk of doing permanent damage to the systems that keep us healthy.
Some Little-Known Sleep Tips
We all know that waking up feeling ready to take on new challenges depends on how rested we are, but not many people know just how much sleep they actually need and how essential it is for our bodies to recuperate. The average adult will need between 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. One of the best ways to ensure that this happens is to keep to a schedule, getting to bed and waking up at the same time each night and day. This does not depend on how much sleep you got the previous night.
Some other important tips to get a good night’s sleep:
Stick to your routine. Set aside a specific time for habits such as brushing your teeth, and a pre-bed splash of water to the face. Then put on your choice of nightwear and get your bed ready by turning down the covers and fluffing up your pillows. Invest in a new mattress. Find out if a Sleep Number is worth it in this handy guide.
Make sure that your sleeping area is devoted to that single thing – sleep.
Get to bed when you are sleepy – and if you are struggling to fall asleep then get up every 15 minutes.
Keep napping to a minimum during the day – no more than 30 minutes at a time.
Sleep and the Importance of Nutrition
Your diet has a direct influence on the quality of your sleep, as does your consumption of caffeine. Enjoying a healthy diet ensures that hormone production is optimized – so that you don’t feel the need to eat while you are sleeping. A great diet to ensure a restful night’s sleep includes ‘good’ fats, and healthy amounts of veggies and fruits – all of these can have a positive influence on sleep.
Avoid unhealthy amounts of refined sugar (and stay away from caffeine) – both of these can lead to restless sleep. How much is too much? Limit your coffee intake to 2 cups of coffee or beverages that contain caffeine such as soft drinks per day (a cup is around 200ml). Also, try to stay away from extremely spicy foods and foods that have a high-fat content for three hours before bedtime.