Getting good sound sleep is essential for staying healthy. Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t sleep well on a regular basis. Part of the problem is our constant use of artificial lighting and electronics at night, in combination with getting insufficient exposure to full, bright, and natural sunlight during the day.
Going just one night without proper sleep starts to impair your physical movements and mental focus, comparable to being drunk. Lack of sleep has many health ramifications, in a wide spectrum, depending on how much you get. Sleep deprivation can have short and long-term effects on your health and well-being.
Short term, lack of sleep has an immediate effect on your mental and emotional states. Over the long term, poor sleep can contribute to a whole host of chronic health problems, both physical and mental.
Your problem-solving skills dwindle with each passing sleepless night, and paranoia, hallucinations, and sleep deprivation psychosis can set in after as little as 24 hours without sleep mimicking symptoms of schizophrenia.
Your Body on No Sleep
What You Can Do Starting Tonight
Small adjustments to your daily routine and sleeping area can go a long way toward ensuring you uninterrupted, restful sleep. A panel of experts reviewed more than 300 studies to determine the ideal amount of sleep and found that, as a general rule, most adults need right around eight hours per night. Here are some tips to getting better sleep:
- Optimize your light exposure during the day, and minimize light exposure after sunset
- Address mental states that prevent peaceful slumber
- Try taking a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime
- Avoid watching TV or using electronics in the evening, at least, an hour or so before going to bed (very important)
- Develop a relaxing pre-sleep routine
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and other drugs, including nicotine
- Use a fitness tracker to help you get to bed on time, and track which activities boost or hinder deep sleep
To optimize sleep you need to go to bed early enough. If you have to get up very early, you’re just not going to get enough sleep if you go to bed after midnight.
For more on how what lifestyle changes you can make to get better sleep, go to Wellness.com and read this article here.