I love a good night sleep as much as everyone, but how often do I really get a good night sleep? When I ask friends and colleagues what they did at the weekend, the most common answer is sleep! For some people, sleeping is the activity they enjoy doing the most.
Although this sounds lazy and a waste of time, it is one of the three main factors of maintaining good health. So, it is important to get a good night sleep every day...not only catch up on sleep on the weekends!
Sleeping isn't as easy as it looks
I also fall victim to this problem. Some nights it takes me too long to get comfortable and fall asleep. Unfortunately, when this happens I am exhausted the following day. Not to mention the fact that my skin becomes pale and I have visible bags under the eyes. Does anyone else have this problem?
The worst case scenario is that you feel too lazy to follow your diet and stick to your workout plan. Lack of sleep can throw a spanner into your well-oiled healthy routine.
So, what is the secret of a good night sleep?
On average adults need close to 7-9 hours of sleep daily. This number increases if you are doing any form of exercise the following day.
However, as mentioned in my previous posts, we are all different! The optimum hours of sleep will vary from person to person so my advice is to experiment. I have found that between 6 and 7 hours is a good night sleep for me. I have enough energy to go to work, followed by a few hours in the gym afterwards.
How can optimal sleep improve our health and well-being?
Optimal sleep helps to boost your performance and increase your mood. Most of all, enough sleep will make you healthier. Isn't that what you want?.
On the flip side, inadequate sleep will deprive you of this benefits. For one, you will not be able to think clearly and react to situations quickly.
What happens when you sleep?
When you sleep, the brain uses the time to process all the information it got during the day. And when you wake up, you feel refreshed, and your mind is ready to function optimally for the day.
When we allow our bodies to get enough sleep, amazing things happen.
The body produces hormones that help the immune system to combat diseases. Also, the body will begin to treat infections and rebuild muscle tissue. But, if there is one reason you need to sleep more it's that we burn calories when we sleep!
Studies show that lack of sleep causes irritability, aggressiveness and bouts of depression. Sound familiar?
A late night from time to time is not a problem. But, if it is a regular pattern you can expect to notice some health problems.
When you sleep less your body needs more energy and craves food high in carbs or calories. This results in an increase in weight and can also lead to diabetes.
In conclusion, getting a good night sleep on a daily basis is paramount to your health.
Are you finding it difficult to fall asleep? Here are some points that will help you to fall asleep.
Keep a regular sleep schedule (Routine is key)
Keeping a regular sleep schedule may sound like a hassle, but it doesn't have to be.
A regular sleep schedule means you have to go to bed and wake up around the same time on a daily basis. Most nights I try to be in bed by 11:00 pm and wake up at 6:00 am to give myself around 7 hours sleep. Granted, I don't do this every night but it's in my routine and I follow it where I can.
If this isn't a normal time for you to sleep it will be tough for you to drift asleep. But, before you know it, your body will adjust to the schedule.
Keep distractions away
To get a healthy night's sleep you need to ensure to prevent distractions. Your body repairs itself during the deep stages of NREM (non-rapid eye movement). It takes up to 90 minutes of a sleep cycle to reach this stage so it's important not to interrupt your sleep.
Using electronic devices such as phones, tablets or laptops keep your brain activated. These devices emit blue light that keeps the brain active. There are apps out there that filter the blue light, but I prefer to activate do not disturb until the morning.
It's important that you relax your mind before going to bed. I try to keep where I sleep distraction free.
Limit naps late on the day
Working in the Bangkok heat can be exhausting, especially if you are not used to it. This can get you craving a nap during the day, me too!
Although there is nothing wrong with naps, timing is important. Limit your naps to the afternoon only, avoiding napping in the evening. Taking a nap too close to the time you sleep can affect your sleep cycle and health.
Admittedly, it's super tempting to crash on the sofa after a long day at work, try doing some exercise instead. Your body will thank you for it will also help your body adjust to your new sleep cycle.
These are just some of my tips to get a better sleep cycle going. They have helped me feel more energised and I am more motivated to get things done. Hopefully, they will have the same results for you!
Yet, if you have trouble sleeping after all these tips, you might need to visit your doctor. You might have an underlying health condition that needs urgent medical attention.
Do you have any other tips for getting a good night sleep? Comment below.