In this blog post, we are going to discuss why you should sleep well and how a good night’s sleep can take you from a downward spiral to a productive and fantastic day.
For a time, sleeping was considered an act of laziness, waste of time and lack of productivity, but now we know that sleeping is very important.
Sleep is a basic need and it can improve many factors in your life. When you sleep well, you improve your productivity, wellness, and health. Not only your physical health, preventing you from getting sick, but also your mental health.
What that means is sleeping can help you to better cope with your emotions, like anxiety, depression, and moodiness.
Sleep is often taken for granted as it is the first thing you sacrifice in detriment of other fun or work-related activities, and that stems largely from the understanding that sleep is a “luxury”, which disregards the importance of a minimum rest for your cognitive functions. Studies show that lack of sleep can even affect your memory and decision making.
ARE YOU SLEEPING RIGHT?
Saying that everybody needs 8 hours of sleep per day is a myth. Sleep needs change from person to person. It can even be changed by factors like a heavy week of work, sickness, genetics, jet lag and over a lifetime.
But, usually, we have 5 sleep cycles of 90 minutes each. So, we will invite you to test a few things and figure it out for yourself.
THE BEDTIME CALCULATOR
To discover your ideal quantity of sleep hours, you should use a method called the bedtime calculator.
First of all, you should know your wake up time. After that, knowing that the usual sleep need is seven and a half hours (5 cycles of 90 minutes), you should subtract this amount of time from your wake up time, and you’ll have your new bedtime. For example, if you need to wake up at 7 a.m., you should sleep at 11:30 p.m.
If you wake up before the alarm clock, this means that your sleep cycle is shorter than that and you need to recalculate your bedtime for a little later. If you wake up tired, you possibly have a bigger cycle and need to go to bed a little earlier.
By doing this test, you should find out how big is your sleep cycle and how much you should sleep to wake up fully recovered.
Besides that, check out the amazing tips that I prepared for you, to have a good time sleeping.
3 STEPS TO SLEEP WELL
Now that you know the importance of a good night of sleep and how to discover your sleep cycle, here’s 3 gold steps to sleep well:
1. Make Sure You Don’t Have Any Sleep Disorder
Sleep disorders such as insomnia, apnea, and narcolepsy are serious and can affect your sleep pretty bad. So, make sure you don’t have them. If you do, you should treat them.
2. Use the Bedtime Calculator and then Make Your Wake up Time Consistent
When you discover your ideal quantity of sleep, you’ll have a bedtime and a wake-up time. Make them consistent. That is, go to bed and wake up every day at the same time, even on weekends. That must be difficult, but this routine will make the process of sleeping easier and less tiring for your brain, which will give you much more energy.
3. Know that You Can Nap and How to Nap
If you had something unexpected one day and couldn’t sleep well, know that you can nap to feel better. The ideal nap is around 25 minutes and depending on the hour you’ll sleep, one field of your mind will perform better. When you nap in the morning, your creativity and memory will be more active, when you nap in the afternoon, you’ll be more alert and in the evening, it will improve your focus.
But, remember, napping is not a substitute for nights of sleep. It is a plan B for you to rest when something goes wrong with your night of sleep. Sleeping well consists of a series of good habits. So, learn what you should and shouldn’t do to accomplish that.
The Dos and Don’ts to Improve Your Sleep Quality
Like everything in life, there are things you should and things you shouldn’t do to improve what you’re doing. Here’s what you need to learn.
What You Should Do to Improve Your Sleep Quality
Exercises are the best way to improve your sleep quality. Doing, at least, 20 minutes of physical activity per day will enhance the length and depth of your sleep. A simple walk will do, you only have to increase your heart rate.
But, remember, exercise until 4 hours before sleeping, or else, it could affect your ability to sleep, because of excessive energy.
During the first 30 minutes of waking up, it is important for you to receive around 15 minutes of sunlight. The sunlight will help your body establish the circadian rhythm and make it well functioning, plus it turns off the melatonin.
So, go walk your dog or take your coffee outside. It will make you feel better and more awake.
What You Should NOT Do to Improve Your Sleep Quality
Don’t Drink Coffee
Coffee gives you too much energy, so avoid drinking it near bedtime. Actually, you should stop drinking coffee 6 or 8 hours before sleep. Why? Because our body takes 6 or 8 hours to digest half of the caffeine you ingested.
So, if your bedtime is 10 p.m., stop drinking coffee between 2 and 4 p.m.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
Some people use alcohol to sleep, but this is not a good thing. Alcohol prevents you from getting to the most profound and restoring sleep stage. Each beverage takes 1 hour to be digested, so if you drink 3 beers at 8 p.m. you should be able to sleep at 11 p.m. If you drink one beer at 8 p.m., another at 9 p.m. and the last one at 10 p.m., you also can sleep at 11 p.m.
You’ll only need to remember that the time you finish the beverage is when the digestion starts counting.
Avoid Blue Light Near the Bedtime
You should avoid any blue light near bedtime. This kind of light is present on the screens’ lights. Near the bedtime, you should only be around yellow lights, because they’ll make you drowsy.
If still, you want to use your electronic devices, you should get blue blocker glasses or software that changes the frequency of your screens’ lights.
In this blog post, you learned the importance of having a good night at sleep, how to discover your ideal quantity of sleep at night, 3 steps to sleep better and what to do and not to do to improve your sleep quality.
Hope these tips help you sleep better!
And remember, the science of sleep is always changing. So, you can learn new things every day.