Get Good Sleep Now – 5 Tips for Better Sleep
Thank you for checking out my post on “Get Good Sleep Now.”
Does this sound familiar? Sunday through Thursday you go to bed at 12 midnight and wake up the next morning by 6 a.m.
Then on Friday night you hang out with friends and go to bed around 2 a.m., just to wake up a few hours later at 7 a.m. for a Saturday morning events.
Sunday, you try to catch up on your rest, but you realize you need to clean up, wash clothes, fix a big Sunday brunch, and get ready for Monday.
This cycle continues until one day, you are exhausted or maybe wake up not feeling well.
In this article, I want to share the benefits of getting proper sleep, the consequences of not getting enough sleep, and five proven ways to get more sleep.
Benefits of Getting Proper Sleep
A new study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found that people may not need as much sleep as previously believed. They said the amount of sleep a person needs depends on many factors, one of which is age.
Below is the new recommended sleep guideline published by this foundation (1) :
• Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
• Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
• Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
• Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
• School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
• Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
• Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
• Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
• Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)
According to the health based, Body and Soul (2), there are at least 6 benefits of getting more sleep:
1. The ability to keep a great figure and appear to be more attractive.
2. The ability to concentrate better, remember more clearly, and make better decisions.
3. A more stabilized mood throughout the day.
4. A decrease in the likelihood of becoming ill.
5. A longer life span.
6. Enhanced energy for sexual activity.
Understanding these benefits should move you to continue to get the proper amount of sleep or make changes in your sleeping habits.
Also, learning some of the negatives of not getting proper sleep may move you to learn how to get the proper amount of sleep needed.
Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep
Not getting proper sleep can have negative consequences. An indicator that you are not getting your proper amount of sleep can be as simple as feeling drowsy during the day or activities.
WebMd say that if you feel drowsy during the day, even during boring activities, you haven’t had enough sleep (3).
Adequate sleep is vital in avoiding negative consequences, because it is absolutely necessary to having a positive mental attitude.
However, the lack of sleep, according to WebMD.com (4), can have the following effects:
⁻ Causes accidents and increases risk of death
⁻ Impaired thinking, judgment, and memory
⁻ Kills the sex drive
⁻ Ages a person
⁻ Makes a person gain weight
⁻ Influences depression
⁻ Increase memory problems
⁻ Weakens the immune system
⁻ Increases the perception of pain
Some people may not get their proper amount of sleep due to sleep disorders. From infants to adults, sleep disorders can be found.
When an adult experience sleeping disorders, many are not immediately alarmed. However, when children have problems sleeping it causes an expeditious response.
The NSF reported on a case study from Northwestern University Medical Center, in which scientists followed the sleep patterns of 510 kids between 2 and 5 years old.
The scientist discovered that inadequate sleep in these children led to more behavioral problems during the day (5).
Even though sleep disorders in adults may not seem as alarming, they may lead to unfavorable health conditions. More adverse sleeping disorders may require medical intervention.
Some of these are Sleep Apnea, Insomnia, Restless Legs Disorder, and Narcolepsy (6). Buzzle.com mentions Sleep Apnea is when normal breathing is disrupted while sleeping.
The article says that 90% of the people with this disorder are unaware they have it. Insomnia is a disorder in which a person has difficulties remaining asleep for a long period of time.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is when while laying down, the body has an urge to move the legs and arms due to tingling sensations. And then finally Narcolepsy.
This is a sleep disorder where a person is drowsy for no apparent reason, despite adequate sleep. The danger is a person can fall asleep at a moment’s notice, without warning.
If you or your loved ones are suffering from any of the above, it is suggested that medical intervention be sought out.
Other sleeping disorders can be solved with milder remedies. Below are some common sleep problems and quick ways to treat them.
⁻ Snoring – Try changing your sleep position, losing weight, opening your nasal passage, purchasing a new pillow, and drinking water before retiring for bed (WebMd).
⁻ Nightmares – Try relaxing before going to bed, and avoid watching scary movies or telling scary stories before bed.
⁻ Teeth Grinding – Visiting your dentist and getting fitted for a guard are beneficial. Over the counter guards are known to cause jaw pain.
5 Ways to Get Good Sleep Now
If you lack sleep either due to busyness or sleep disorder, the following ideas should effectively help you get more sleep:
1. Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends. Establishing a daily routing for healthy sleep patterns is essential.
2. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. Try listening to soothing music, reading a book, performing yoga, taking a shower, or even spraying bed linen with a calming fragrance such as lavender.
3. Exercise daily. Going on a 20-minute walk 3-5 days a week is helpful for optimal sleeping.
4. Ensure your bedroom has the ideal temperature, sound, and lighting. Window shades, fans, and night lights can make your room more conducive to sleep.
5. Turn off electronics before retiring for the night. The screens of computers, tablets, television, and cellphones may keep you awake.
6. Limit caffeine in the evening and alcohol close to bedtime. It may be calming when drinking these beverages; however, consuming these beverages can cause a disruption of sleep throughout the night.
If you are unable to fall back asleep after 20 minutes, get up and go to a space in the house to do a relaxing activity like reading with dim lights.
Make sleeping a priority since it is so important. It may be helpful to use the National Sleep Foundation Sleep Diary (7) to track your sleep habits over a one- or two-week period and share the results with your physician.
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