Everyone knows that it's important to get to get a good night's sleep, but they almost never delve deeper into the topic in detail. The time you sleep, quality of sleep and regularity of sleep are all just as important as getting that 8-9 hours of rest your body needs.
In this article we'll be explaining briefly the health benefits of getting enough quality sleep and some of the negative impacts of not getting enough sleep. We will also be providing a few tips on how you can improve your quality of sleep immediately!
Why Our Body Needs Sleep?
When we are asleep our body our body is recharging and repairing, just like how you need to charge your mobile phone, getting enough sleep is crucial for a healthy immune system and optimal brain functionality.
The quality and time of sleep is also important as it allows you to wake up feeling rested and ready to start the day.
Here are the recommended hours of quality sleep you should be getting everyday according to your age group:
- Teenagers: 8-10 hours
- Young Adults: 7-9 hours
- Adults: 7-9 hours
- Elderly: 7-8 hours
As you can see the recommend hours are of sleep is a minimum of 7 hours with the sweet spot of 8 hours a night. So for a healthy body and mind you should aim to get 8 hours of sleep every night.
What Happens When You Don't Get Enough Sleep?
So what happens if you don't get the recommended hours of sleep every night? People who do not sleep enough are proven to be less effective and efficient in their work or at school compared to someone who gets an adequate amount of sleep every night.
The health risks will escalate and get more abundant as the individual's sleep pattern continues to be irregular. There are a huge number negative effects when you don't get enough sleep, some more serious than others.
Here are just some examples of what might happen if you do not get enough sleep every night:
- Your immune system suffers
- Increased chance of stroke and heart diseases
- Increased risk of cancer
- You become more forgetful
- Higher risk of diabetes
- You put on weight
- Increased stress
These are just some of the negative effects of not getting enough sleep, we don't know about you but just the thought of all these at once scares us. So make sure you get enough shut-eye!
3 Tips to Improve Your Quality of Sleep
There are numerous things that you can do to improve your sleep quality everyday. We're going to share 3 easy and simple tips that can immediate improve the quality of sleep you're getting in order to allow your body & brain function properly throughout the day!
1. Create a Restful Environment
During the night your body will start to produce a natural chemical called Melatonin or Sleep Hormones , this is the chemical that will send signals to your brain telling you it is time to rest for the night. Having a dark and cool bedroom will allow your body to produce more of these chemicals resulting in lowered body temperature, drowsiness & muscle relaxation.
This allows you to fall asleep faster and also ensures you fall into a deeper sleep which in turn improves the quality of sleep you get which helps you feel well rested and refreshed the next morning.
2. Cut Out That Blue Light
Your computers and mobile phone screens are a source of blue light which mimics the light from the sun. When you are exposed to blue light at night, it tricks your brain into thinking that it's daytime thus blocking the production of Melatonin/Sleep Hormone which is responsible for making you feel tired and drowsy in order to prepare your body for a good night's sleep. This will result in you not feeling tired when it's time to go to bed and will take a longer time to fall asleep.
Because of this, sleep experts recommend cutting out blue light exposure well before bedtime (2-3 hours). So what should you do in the 2-3 hours before bed if you can't use your mobile phones or computers?
The most commonly recommended alternative is to read a book before bed, it probably would help to pick a genre of book that you would be most interested in so that it doesn't feel like a chore.
It'll take some getting used to, but this method is a guaranteed way to get a good night's sleep!
3. Try to Sleep and Wake Up at Consistent Times
Remember the time when you were young, you always seemed to have all the energy in the world, well your parents probably had something to do with that when they forced you to go to bed on time.
When you go to bed and wake up at consistent times, your body will recognize that that is the time where it should start producing sleep hormones to allow you get a good night's sleep, it will also send signals to your brain in order to wake you up naturally allowing you to feel well-rested the next morning.
So you in order to allow your body to adapt to your sleep cycle, you should consistently go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. Over time, going to bed at that time will become second nature and you will start to feel tired right when you need to go to bed ensuring a good night's sleep!
Now that you're more aware of the benefits of getting enough sleep and also the scary negative effects, you should consider fine tuning your sleep schedule to what you feel is the most optimal for your body. After all, a good night's sleep cures all ailments!