Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important for your health as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. It can really make a difference, not just for the next day (you know it’s easier to work and function after a good night’s sleep), but also for your health as a whole.
When you get a good night’s sleep, your hormones will be more in sync, and your tissues will be able to heal and re-grow so that they can work at their best the next day. Also, not getting enough sleep for a long time can cause you to gain weight, lose your temper, and have other problems like anxiety, depression, and heart problems. So, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep as often as possible. Here are some tips to help you do that.
Something called the “circadian rhythm” controls how the body works. This is the cycle that tells your body when it’s time to sleep, so it starts to feel sleepy. It also tells your body when it’s time to be awake. The number of screens and the blue light they give off can throw off the circadian rhythm, making the body think it is still daytime even when it is late at night.
As well as limiting screen time (no screens at all for at least an hour before bed), it’s important to go outside. Getting one to two hours of daylight will reset the circadian rhythm and keep the body on track so that it gets tired at the right time. Every day, take a short walk or sit outside for a few minutes.
Block Out Sound
Sounds at night might wake you up, and a night’s sleep that is broken up isn’t as restful. Even sounds that don’t wake you up can affect your sleep because they change how long you spend in each sleep stage. The different types of sleep we go through each night are called sleep stages. They range from light stages to deep (slow wave) sleep and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). It has been shown that noise in the environment, like from the air and cars, makes it harder to get a slow waves and REM sleep. Noise at night may also cause more adrenaline and cortisol to be made, as well as a faster heart rate and higher blood pressure.
The best thing to do for a good night’s sleep is to block out as much sound as you can. You can wear earplugs or headphones to help with this.
In the event that you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, you might think that a midday nap would be a wonderful idea. But this might be the worst idea ever if you plan on getting any sleep tonight. If you confuse your circadian rhythm by taking naps during the day, you won’t feel sleepy when it’s time for bed since your body will assume it’s still up.
Don’t go to bed if you’re too sleepy to get anything done during the day. A walk (in the sun!) or some exercise will help you get your day off on the right foot.