When the days and nights are stressful, sleep seems elusive or we tend to instead look for other things to rest our minds from the stressors of every day life. (Netflix, eating, shopping for example)
But sleep is important, not only in terms of quantity but also quality. I know there were times that I would sleep for 8-9 hours but still wake up exhausted the next day. There were even times it felt impossible to just pass out.
Why is sleep so essential? Among other functions, It’s the time when our brains process all the experiences we’ve collected during the day, our hormones regulate themselves, our joints and muscles recover from daily physical activity and much more.
Then you might ask, how do I know if I’m getting quality sleep? If other aspects of your life such as nutrition, and exercise are on point and yet, you’re not on your A-game then sleep might be the reason.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How’s your mood? Happy/moody/sad
- How’s your productivity? Brain feeling on point/out of it
- Do you feel unwell a lot? Believe it or not, sleep actually helps reduce inflammation and infection
- How’s your energy levels? Do you feel like you have all the energy in the world/none at all.
Say you know that sleep is the missing element to absolute health, what’s next? On top of the 7-9 hours, Here’s 7 things for better quality sleep:
Do Not Snooze Whenever we’re sleep, our bodies enter a sleep cycle that lasts 60-90 minutes. Research shows that when we hit the snooze button we disrupt that cycle resulting in us waking up even more tired than we would’ve if we’d gotten up the first time
Get Some Sunlight By exposing yourself to sunlight, you regulate your body’s melatonin levels and thus your circadian rhythm
Decrease Caffeine Intake Caffeine tends to keep us awake, so if you’re having trouble falling asleep, try not to consume caffeinated beverages after 2pm.
Exercise On top of the other benefits of exercise, it also regulates your body’s fight-or-flight system, and can help optimise hormone levels. Just be careful of high intensity trainings late at night; they might keep you awake.
Clear Your Mind Sometimes what keeps us up at night is in our head. Did you have a frustrating day at work and didn’t get a chance to rant it out? Or do you have to do something tomorrow morning and don’t want to forget it? Rather than remembering it to sleep, try jotting it down somewhere so you can better unwind at the end of the day.
Go To Bed At A Set Time Just as morning routines are great to set the day, night routines are a great way to end it. Having a fixed routine tells your body that it is time to go to bed soon. Whether that’s reading a book, taking a shower, or preparing things for tomorrow, doing something consistently will help get your mind and body ready to sleep.
Comment down below with 😴 if you love sleep!