Ever talk to a sleep-deprived person? You may find the person distracted, irritable, and out of sorts. Sleep may seem like a given, after all, everyone sleeps. Or is it? What if sleep is compromised? It could be anxiety, worry, stress, a medical condition or poor ventilation that is keeping you awake. Whatever the reason, sleep can make or break a man. And this is not just an observation, sleep matters more than you think. Here are some reasons why sleep is crucial to physical, emotional and mental wellness.
Just like the cell phone needs charging to function, a person needs sleep to function well And we’re not just talking about beauty sleep. Sure, having enough sleep makes you look alert and alive but beyond the surface, a good night’s sleep recharges you on a cellular level. It gives the body time to rejuvenate, repair and recharge. The author of Sound Sleep, Sound Mind: 7 Keys to Sleeping Through the Night puts it this way: “You’re putting energy in the bank when you go to sleep.” If you want a full tank of energy each morning, invest in a good night’s sleep.
Sleep Helps You Think Clearly
Ever feel groggy after a poor night’s sleep? Your thought process is slow and you find difficulty thinking clearly? That’s what happens when you skip or skimp on good sleep. When you’re sleepy and tired (another byproduct of lack of sleep), you may find it hard to focus on the task at hand. If you’re a student, you’ll find it hard to concentrate or if you’re at work, you will find it hard to perform tasks effectively. But why let sleep deprivation ruin your day or lower your job performance? Get at least 7 hours of sleep and you’ll wake up, sharp and ready to tackle any tasks that require logical thinking, even complex processes.
Sleeps Helps To Strengthen Memory
Can’t remember where you place your car keys? Or you forgot your lunch bag again? Although it may be due to absent-mindedness, scientists
Lack of Sleep Linked to Mental Problems
Prolong sleep difficulties or insufficient sleep can sprout other woes, among them, depression, mood swings, anxiety, bipolar disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), among others. The sleep-mental health correlation shows the importance of getting good sleep. Sleep helps with mental wellness, which in turn improve emotional wellness.
Lack of Sleep Causes Delayed Reaction
When you’re sleepy, tired and groggy, the chances are your reaction may be slow. You may take a while to process what is at hand and, sometimes, that slow reaction time can be crucial like when you’re driving. About 20 percent of all car crashes are due to driver fatigue, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Getting enough sleep is your best bet, not just for road safety but to function at optimal level daily.
When you see how sleep can interfere with your wellbeing, what do you do? You can take steps to reclaim your sleep. Consider these practical ways to put sleep in your life and restore wellness:
Hygiene conjures pictures of cleanliness and keeping clean but sleep hygiene? Just what exactly does it mean? Sleep hygiene involves setting up routines and habits to help sleep. To begin with the obvious, avoid caffeine closer to bed time. As to what time should you stop taking caffeine, it all depends on you. For some people, taking caffeine after lunch is a definite no, for others, after dinner. Next, establish a sleep-wake routine. That means going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day. You’re training your body to wind down for the night and start back up in the morning, like conditioning your internal body clock. Taking naps can sabotage your sleep debt, so avoid whenever possible. Turn off all electronics (they stimulate the minds), turn down the shade (dark is more conducive to sleep), and keep the room temperature comfortable (preferably cooler than hotter) and get a good sleep.
Eat Well, Sleep Well
You’ve often heard the mantra: Food is medicine. You can credit Hippocrates for that wise observation, but the truth is food affects the body in many ways, among them, sleep. With that, all kinds of advice springs up, from drinking a glass of warm milk to sleepy-time tea such as chamomile and lavender. Any truth? The National Sleep Foundation reveals that as much as certain chemicals disrupt sleep such as caffeine and stimulants, others can actually help to induce sleep. Foods rich in tryptophan, a chemical used in the production of serotonin, a sleep-related chemical, may be key to inducing sleep. Tryptophan-rich foods include turkey (yeah, it takes the blame for the stupor-after-turkey state, justly or unjustly), fish, chicken, nuts, eggs, among others. To make tryptophan more readily available to the brain, pair it with carbohydrates. Eating a light snack of protein with carbohydrates helps sleep. For instance, eat a few whole grain crackers with baked chicken or turkey before bedtime to put your body in a sleepy mood. On the other hand, eating fat-heavy foods such as fried or spicy foods can keep you up.
Exercise is good. No question about it. A good workout will tire you out and makes it easier to sleep. But the time you exercise may affect your sleep quality. If you exercise rigorously before bedtime, you may find yourself staring at the ceiling, or counting sheep (as the expression goes). That is because exercise produces endorphins, which may interfere with inducing sleep. On the safe side, exercise during the earlier part of the day and leave night-time for more relaxing activities, getting your body ready for a good night’s sleep.
Consider Your Mattress
Sometimes, sleep difficulty is linked to health issues or reasons stated above. If you cannot pinpoint the cause, consider the bed you sleep on. After all, the mattress is the vehicle that makes sleep possible! It’s not just a piece of furniture, but an important asset to this sleep equation. A comfortable mattress that is conducive to your weight, offering support and ergonomic comfort can make sleep a pleasure. Of course, not all mattresses are built equal and the same bed is not for everyone. Depending on your needs, your weight and your individual preferences, you can find a good fit for your sleeping needs.
Most people invest time, money and effort to stay healthy. Don’t forget the sleep factor. Getting adequate sleep will ensure physical, emotional and mental wellness. If you’ve prolonged sleep problems, it is best to consult your doctor. Sometimes, the problem can easily be solved, such as eating certain foods, getting a better mattress or listening to soothing music. Other times, it may involve medical intervention. Whatever the case may be, sleep plays a big part in your wellness. For more information on sleep and wellness, contact your local Urban Mattress Store.