When I was a kid, like most kids, I never wanted to go to sleep. I used to sneak out of bed and sit on the staircase in my house, doing nothing but feeling rebellious. But now, I relish sleep. Our lives are so jam packed with obligations and errands and activities that we are constantly running around. By the end of the day, I’m exhausted. I know that I need time to recharge and establish enough energy to get everything done the next day, and I’m sure that you do too. If you aren’t getting your solid 8 hours, here are some reasons why you should and ways that you can improve your quality of sleep.
Health Benefits of Getting Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important to make sure that you have enough energy during the day. In addition, consider the following health benefits:
- Help your body recover. Especially if you stay active in order to maintain proper health, getting enough sleep is an essential part of your daily routine. Sleep allows your body to repair itself. If you have been working out, you need to give your muscles the time and means to repair themselves. Sleep is a big part of this process.
- Preventing chronic sleep deprivation. Let’s face it – we won’t get a perfect night’s sleep every night. But, long term sleep deprivation can have serious effects on our health and well being. Long term sleep deprivation will decrease your quality of life and can lead to such serious issues as obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and more.
- Increased productivity. Getting enough sleep will help you focus and perform better. Whether you are trying to do well in school, at work, or in your personal life, a good night’s sleep can help you make the most of the time you are awake.
- Improved mood. People who get enough sleep struggle less with depression and other mental issues than those who are sleep deprived. You will likely find yourself in a happier mood after a good night’s sleep.
- Practicing safety. You will make safer decisions when you sleep well enough. You can be a safer driver and make other safe choices when you can focus on dangerous tasks at hand.
How to Improve Your Sleep
Most people know that they should get enough sleep. But, some might not be sure how to do this. With all of the things running through our heads and our lack of time to get everything done in a day, you might feel like you are not getting enough restful sleep. Here are a few tips to help you wind down at night and make sure that you are getting the sleep you need.
- Make sleep a priority. Consistently getting 8 hours of sleep is not always easy. But, if you make sleep a priority in your life, you will have a better chance of sticking to a plan and making it happen.
- Establish a nighttime routine. Find a way to wind down at the end of your day. Maybe you write in a journal at night. Or, you have a cup of tea. Or, you read a good book before you go to sleep. These are calming ways to wind down after a long, stressful day. They can help you feel more relaxed and get ready for bed.
- Turn off technology. Using devices such as a laptop, a phone, or a television at night can have negative effects on your sleep patterns. Consider staying away from these devices as you wind down at night. If you want to continue using these devices, consider downloading an app like f.lux. This is an app that changes the colors on your screen. The later it gets, the warmer the tones on your computer will become. This is to avoid exposing you to blue light late at night, as this type of light can stimulate you and make it difficult to get to sleep at night.
- Use a sleep tracking device or app. There are many devices and apps that can help you track your sleep patterns in order to improve them. Consider using a device such as a FitBit or Jawbone, or an app like the Sleep Cycle app.
For a healthier lifestyle, getting enough sleep is key. You can follow these tips to improve your sleeping routine. To share your own tips with us, contact us on Facebook!