The Secrets Of Sleeping Well
Sleep, like many valuable things, isn’t just about quantity but also quality. That quality comes from getting forty winks regularly, deeply and without interruptions.
Disrupting healthy sleep is disastrous. You wake up groggy, less alert and lack energy. The long-term consequences are even more severe and could lead to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, weight-related issues, diabetes, and even cancer.
To enjoy the best kind of sleep, and all its health benefits, follow these five tips:
The best kind of sleep is restorative or deep sleep. It happens during the third stage of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep in the sleep cycle. It kicks in between 11 pm – 3 am, regardless of when we get to bed. By ensuring we’re asleep during those hours, we enjoy quality sleep.
Getting deep sleep is great for reducing that tired feeling which builds up over the day (yes, the desire to nap at 2 pm). It’s also during deep sleep that human growth hormones are released, and cell repair occurs. That’s why this stage of sleep is refreshing and restorative. Waking at this stage of the sleep cycle makes you feel very sluggish, so it’s vital that restorative sleep is uninterrupted.
Remove sleep interruptions
Because waking from deep sleep means we lose out on its recharging benefits, reducing sleep interruptions is a must. Try sleeping with earplugs on so noise won’t awaken you.
Another way to prevent being woken is to keep your bed and bedroom clean and comfortable. Install dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture from the air as allergens, like dust mites, die with low humidity. Change your sheets weekly too.
Stop tossing and turning
What if you can’t fall asleep in the first place? Don’t roll in bed. But don’t rely on electronic devices to lull you to sleep either. Smartphones, e-readers and tablets emit blue light, which suppresses melatonin and makes it harder to fall asleep. Instead, go to another room to read or listen to music until you feel sleepy.
Getting to bed at the right time to catch deep sleep is easier after an active day. By doing at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, five or more days a week, you’ll be glad to hit the hay by bedtime.
Establish your sleep zone
Remember, we’re creatures of habit. So, program your brain to associate the bedroom and bed with sleep. Use your bed primarily for sleeping. Don’t watch TV or use your laptop to work while sitting in bed.
Never sacrifice quality sleep. Get to bed well before deep sleep hours, stop interruptions and know what to do so you fall asleep quickly. Sweet dreams!
Want to find out more about sleep? Read this article and see our WorkScore infographic.