Sleep is critical for good health and well-being. The World Sleep Day is a day specifically set aside to raise awareness of the importance of sleep. Quality sleep helps to improve the general wellness of the body.
Busy people lack enough sleep and this can lead to irritability, digestive issues, poor judgment, lack of attention, and drowsiness during the day. In addition, lack of sleep has been linked to more serious physical health issues like high blood pressure, immune deficiencies, depression, suicide, diabetes, increased risk of heart disease, and risk-taking behaviors. Therefore, getting enough, good, restful sleep can improve both mental and physical health, help us learn more efficiently, enhance our quality of life, and enable us to lead harmless and responsible lives.
Getting enough sleep will help the body rebuild its Pitta time. The Pitta time is known to be the time when the sun is highest in the sky, i.e. 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. which is known as a time of high energy and metabolism. From 10:00 p.m. in the evening to 2:00 a.m. in the morning is also Pitta time and it is known as a time when the brain metabolizes thoughts, integrate information and forms new neural pathways. So, sleeping at 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. is especially important to good cognitive function and mental health. During Pitta time, sleep enables the body to grow, repair and heal. Our hormones stay in balance, and they improve their function.
To help improve the quality of sleep and develop better sleep habits, below are some of the tips you can follow:
Block out Light
We all have a built-in clock in our brains known as the circadian rhythm. This circadian rhythm tells us to be awake when there is light and we should be heading off to bed when it is dark. The brain triggers the release of melatonin hormone when it is dark in the evening; melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. To keep your body melatonin levels in balance and to protect its natural circadian rhythm, you should always try to avoid bright light an hour before going to bed. Some of the changes you can make in your room to improve your sleep quality include avoiding TV in bed, turning off ceiling lights, and setting your mobile devices to night mode to use them after dark.
Avoid Afternoon Naps
Taking afternoon naps can sometimes be the best thing to take but they disrupt your nighttime sleep schedule. After taking afternoon nap, you may find it hard falling asleep when it is time for bed. In case you will have to take a nap during the day, you can make use of a nap tracker like Sleep Cycle power nap to prevent oversleep. The perfect power nap is 20 minutes, where you do not enter deep sleep but you wake up while you are still in light sleep.
Monitor your Bedroom Temperature
According to experts, the temperature that provides the best sleep condition is around 65 degrees (about 18 C). The pattern linked to your sleep cycle shows that the body temperature slightly rises and falls during the course of a day. The temperature of the body drops when you are tired and rises again when it is time to get up in the morning. This shows that the air in your room can affect your sleep quality. You may have a restless sleep if the air in your environment is too hot because it may interfere with your natural body temperature. The perfect temperature for you will make you sleep comfortably without feeling hot or cold.
One habit you can get involved in if you are trying to improve the quality of your sleep is exercising daily; this works wonders! Getting enough exercise can both help you improve your sleep quality and fall asleep easier. The National Sleep Foundation has revealed that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week can help to improve sleep quality and fall asleep easier. Just note that it is better to exercise early in the morning than late in the evening to have time to wind down before going to bed.
Make Time for Sleep
One thing that most busy compromise is sleep; they hardly find enough time to sleep. However, to help protect our health and well-being, we need to find time to sleep. To make this possible, you can create and commit to a schedule. Anytime before 10:00 p.m. is the best time to go to bed; this will allow your body to experience a total rest and to rebuild Pitta time. It is also better to go to bed and wake up the same time each day, whether during the weekday night or weekend night. This will help control your body’s clock and help you fall asleep and stay asleep during the night.
Stick to a Sleep Schedule
When you are having sleep disorder, the best is to keep a sleep schedule. This will allow you to go to bed and wake up the same time of every day. If you feel a bit restrictive setting both a bedtime and a wake-up time, you can start by setting a wake-up time and try waking up around the same time every morning whether it is weekend or a weekday. With this, you will have an early bedtime schedule and it will ensure you have an adequate amount of sleep hours and quality your body needs.
If you are really in need of better health, you must allow yourself the full rest you need. Getting a lot of stress during the day can create anxiety and be very upsetting. To help manage stress, get better organized, share tasks, laugh, set priorities, and have fun. All these will not only make you rest better, it will also give you a better health and well-being in your daily life.