With all the social and physical distancing people might be catching up on their sleep. Many people were and are sleep deprived which influences our health, our increasing weight, our fitness, and our overall performance as humans. Improving both the quantity and quality of sleep is important and can make a huge difference in your energy level, memory, and focus the following day.
Sleep is a very important habit to focus on in our daily routines as it is a time where our body heals itself and prepares itself for the next day. We should be getting seven hours or more of sleep daily to allow essential biological and physiological processes to repair and regenerate our body. Inadequate sleep causes specific alterations in hormones that control appetite and satiety thereby causing you to have hunger and likely to feed yourself more often.
It is reported that 30% of adults sleep less than 6 hours – this is called inadequate sleep. Now, there are those who can function with less sleep, but it is a skill that must be honed and perfected using a variety of strategies. But for most of us, we need to focus on getting the seven hours or more and making those hours high quality sleep.
When we are born and during the first few years of our lives our body creates what is called your circadian rhythms which controls our biological patterns – body temperature, blood pressure, and release of hormones – during the day. For most people, our circadian rhythm makes our desire for sleep most powerful between midnight and sunrise. Light can affect our sleep and these rhythms, so be mindful as not to disrupt your sleep patterns and nap times.
Studies have shown that Teenagers need between nine and ten hours of sleep on average or they become sleep deprived. It explains the reason why they tend to sleep very late on weekends, and this frustrates parents. This extra sleep is making up for sleep lost during the week with school activities.
The benefits of good quality sleep include a sharper brain and a positive mood, improved glucose control and sensitivity, better weight management, and enhanced immunity. It is important to get good quality sleep to help your brain store information and your body repair itself so it can continue to adapt for future activities.
Simple ways to prepare ourselves for high quality sleep
- Prepare your bedroom by keeping the room at a cooler temperature and ensure darkness
- Eliminate screen time at least 60 minutes before you want to go to sleep
- Write in your journal and make your action list for tomorrow to clear your head
- Facilitate relaxation before bed through prayer, meditation, and breathing
- Go outside and enjoy nature and the night sky before bed
- Take a warm bath using bath salts to relax
- Use easy listen sounds to help you enter a sleep state
- Use a weighted blanket
- Monitor your sleep
Behaviors during the day that can help you sleep better
- Try not to have caffeine after 2pm
- Do not drink too much alcohol at night
- Show gratitude during the day
- Perform regular physical activity early in the day and not close to bedtime
- Consume good clean fats with dinner
- Consume some quality protein with dinner
- Consume 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey before bed
Make your plan today for better sleep as you continue to create your routine for health. It will make a huge difference in your happiness, health, and overall wellbeing for life!