How to Sleep Like A Log


Having a good sleep is everyone’s dream. More than a form of rest, this is an active period to help our body restore its’ functional systems. At least 7 to 9 hours per night is the recommended sleep for adults. One-year-olds need 11 to 14 hours, school-age children need 9 to 11 hours, and teenagers require 8 to 10 hours for quality sleep. 

But what happens if the body did not get a good night's sleep? While we have a fair share of having untoward experiences in school, or at work, the bad effects of not having a good sleep are paramount to what we can only imagine. Sleepiness affects our cognitive function which can cause memory impairment, learning disabilities in all ages, and even emotional behavior such as depression. According to nutrition experts, short sleep duration contributes to the development of non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. This is because poor sleep affects hormones that regulate our appetite.

So you wonder, why is it difficult to get a good night’s sleep nowadays? Do you remember those sleepless nights you had because you’re on your phone, browsing through the internet? What about the late nights you’re chatting with a friend or a potential lover? What about the time you even brought your work at home, feeling stressed out? And the caffeinated frappe you can’t resist because, well, it’s coffee? Whether we admit it or not, we are guilty of these culprits than we already know. So what do we do to get back our sleeping rhythm and give our body the right sleep it deserves?


Tips so You Can Have A Sound Sleep

 

    • Keep your bed as your sanctuary for sleep and your intimate relations only.  Avoid eating, working, or watching TV on your bed no matter how tempted you are.
    • Create a bedroom conducive for sleeping. While others can have a good sleep with a comfortable mattress and pillow alone, there are some who need a little effort on their bedroom set-up. Find your non-negotiables when it comes to sleeping. Lights off? Then turn off the lights or keep the room as dark as possible. Keep your room cool, and noise-free. Some use blackout curtains, bright light, humidifiers, “white noise” machines, to design their bedroom up to their advantage. Think about the kind of environment that makes you sleepy and turn it into a reality.
    • Use “sleep helpers”. Our generation has come up with a lot of tools to aid you in your sleep. Soothing music embedded in a sleep mask has been a great discovery for music lovers and light-sensitive sleepers.
    • Clear your mind before going to bed. Avoid negative thoughts that will keep you up all night. To steer clear from negativity, you can keep a notebook on your bedside table where you can list down your to-do’s the next day. In that way, you’re organizing your next day activities while being hopeful for another day.
    • Be food and beverage conscious. Big or spicy meals can cause indigestion, therefore making it hard for someone to get a good sleep. With this, you must avoid large meals 2-4 hours before your bedtime. If you can’t go to bed because you’re a little bit hungry, resort to light carbohydrates such as crackers, yogurt or milk instead to help you sleep easier.
    • Reduce stimulants. While we understand how you love a good coffee, limit your intake and avoid consuming it 4 hours before bedtime. This also applies to tea, soda, and chocolate. 
    • Avoid alcohol and tobacco. While alcohol makes you feel drowsy and makes you fall asleep faster, it affects the quality of the sleep you can get. It changes your sleep rhythm and blocks the restorative type of sleep (REM sleep). Meanwhile, nicotine is a stimulant, therefore making it difficult for you to fall asleep.
    • Maintain a regular physical activity. Exercises can be pretty tiring, so the energy spent during the day will surely be recuperated at night.
    • Establish your body clock’s bedtime routine. As much as possible, help your body maintain a sleep schedule even on weekends. 
    • Practice a relaxing bedtime routine. Prepare activities that will help you relax like taking a warm bath, meditation, or doing relaxation exercises. Researchers found out that lavender scent stabilizes and improves sleep. Spraying lavender scent into your pillow or linen can help you relax and induce sleep.
    • Limit your naps. While power napping helps you through the day, it affects the quality of your sleep at night. Limit your naps to 30 minutes and try to do it 4 hours before bedtime.

Some people can sleep right away regardless of their external conditions. Not all are lucky enough to have established their sleep rhythm. For some of us, we may need a combination of sleeping tips identified above to achieve a restorative type of sleep. It may get a few tries but when you found the right combination or more, you get the maximum potential of good quality sleep. And who doesn’t want that? 


References:

The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Sleep Disorders. 2009. Foldvary-Schaefer N. New York: Kaplan Publishing

https://my.clevelandclinic.org

https://www.sleepfoundation.org





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