Like all creatures, humans need four basic elements to survive. We need food, water, oxygen, and sleep. While in the blissful state of sleep, the rest of your body is hard at work, healing, regenerating and your brain is at its most active. It is estimated that we will spend about a third of our lives sleeping and likely feel like it was never enough. Statistics show that only one out of seven Americans regularly wakes up feeling rested. Here are five tips designed to help you beat the average.
Turn off the TV
The National Sleep Foundation says “lights out” for a good night’s sleep, citing research in which it was found that exposure to light stimulated the nerve pathways from the eyes to the parts of the brain that control body temperature, hormone release and other functions that help us achieve sound sleep. Yes, this occurs even with your eyes closed. Room darkening shades are great if you live in an area with brightly lit outdoor areas.
Know How Much Sleep You Really Need
Sleep needs vary according to age, lifestyle, health and genetics, therefore determining the exact amount you need can be difficult. It is recommended that the average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours. The important takeaway here is that you do not want to cheat yourself if you are a person that requires more sleep to feel rested.
Make Sleep a Priority
You set the alarm to wake-up and schedule reminders for important meetings and events, give bedtime equal significance. Experts recommend having a sleep schedule and not varying from it even on the weekends or off-days.
Beware of Sleep Thieves
Many people still believe in the ritual nightcap, but according to the latest research, alcohol is, in fact, a sleep stealer. Other known hijackers include, nicotine and even exercise performed too close to bedtime. Incidentally, milk is still the top-ranked nighttime snack, as it is high in the natural hormone tryptophan.
The experts at the National Sleep Foundation have developed the perfect bedtime ritual that incorporates mindfulness, yoga, and rest. The important thing is learning to unwind your mind so that your body can relax.
The majority of Americans fail to make sleep a priority or experience some sleep disturbances, even though research shows that proper sleep plays a critical role in a person’s health and well-being. Feeling rested boosts productivity decreases stress and improves mood. By making a few simple changes, you can improve your ability to achieve a good night’s rest.