Your body needs sleep, just as it needs air and food to function at its best. An occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health whereas an regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.
Adults need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to be well rested.
Lack of good sleep can lead to:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, tiredness and lethargy.
- Morning headaches.
- Poor memory and difficulty focusing.
- Anxiety and depression.
- Chronic health problems such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- An increased risk of alcohol and drug dependence.
- Making mistakes at work, including causing accidents.
- Relationship problems, etc.
Benefits of sleep:
- Adds in weight loss.
- Boosts immune system.
- Sleep plays an important role as it helps controlling your body temperature and metabolism.
- Good sleep can improve concentration.
- Sleep increases fertility.
- Sleep prevents from illness like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc.
Tips for a quality night’s sleep:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Maintain a routine and rhythm.
- Feel relaxed and warm before bed. Reading a book or taking a warm bath may help you unwind and de-stress before bedtime.
- Use your bed only for sleep and intimacy, only. Avoid watching television, studying, eating or working in bed.
- Get a Comfortable Bed, Mattress and Pillow. A mattress can impact a person's sleep. A medium-firm mattress, or a firm mattress with a softer pillow top, will give your spine that "just-right" balance of support and cushioning.
- It is recommended that you upgrade your bedding at least every 5–8 years.
- Put dim light around your home before bedtime. Lower light levels signal your brain to make melatonin, the hormone that brings on sleep.
- Try to optimize your bedroom environment by eliminating external light and noise and making it a generally relaxing environment.
- Spent some time on bright light in a day. Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration.
- Turn off TVs, computers, and other blue-light sources an hour before you go to bed.
- When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark. Use heavy curtains or shades to block light from windows.
- Be active. Regular exercise during daylight hours is one of the best ways to ensure a good night's sleep.
- Choose complex carbs to eat like whole grains, brown rice, oats, etc.
- Include Vitamin B in diet as they improve your body's ability to regulate its use of sleep-inducing tryptophan and produce more system-calming serotonin. E.g. milk, fortified cereals, lean chicken, fish,etc.
- Don't consume caffeine late in the day as it will interrupt with your sleep.
- If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
- Avoid eating heavy meals at late evening/ night.
- If you have trouble sleeping at night, stop napping or shorten your naps on day times.
- Cut back on sugary foods and refined carbs. E.g. sugary products, white rice, white bread, candies, etc.
- Avoid drinking alcohol.
- Quit smoking.