We all know that getting a good night's sleep is important, but we often don't make it a priority. In our 20s, our attitude towards sleep is often erratic. We party hard, stay up late, and generally don't treat our bodies with the respect they deserve. As a result, our sleep patterns are all over the place and we're constantly tired. It's not until we reach our 30s that we start to realise the importance of sleep and its impact on our overall health and wellness.
We don't consider it something that's part of our health, and as a result, our attitude and relationship with sleep often brings frustration and lack of consistency. We might party hard through uni and stay up late, or if we're lucky enough to have afternoon lectures, we might sleep in. This can wreak havoc on our body clocks and leave us feeling tired all the time.
It's important to establish a healthy relationship with sleep so that we can enjoy all the benefits that come with getting a good night's rest. When we think about our overall wellness, we often think about diet and exercise. But sleep is just as important for our physical and mental health. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three adults don’t get enough sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re putting your health at risk.
Let’s take a look at why sleep is so important for our wellness.
Benefits of a good night sleep:
There are countless benefits of getting a good night’s sleep.
For one, it helps improve your mood. When you’re well-rested, you’re more likely to be in a good mood and have positive energy. Sleep also helps improve your memory and cognitive function. Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and solving problems.
In addition to improving your mood and cognitive function, sleep also helps boost your immune system. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more susceptible to getting sick. And if you do get sick, it will likely take you longer to recover. That’s because when you sleep, your body produces cytokines—proteins that help fight infection and inflammation.
Getting enough sleep is also important for maintaining a healthy weight. Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be obese. One reason for this is that lack of sleep can increase levels of the hormone ghrelin, which increases appetite. Another reason is that when you’re tired, you may be less likely to exercise or make healthy food choices.
When we don't get enough sleep, we are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. We are also more susceptible to physical ailments such as heart disease, stroke, and obesity. Getting enough sleep is essential to maintaining our health and well-being.
Most adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night. However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some people may need more or less sleep depending on their age, lifestyle, and health condition. It's important to listen to your body and get the amount of sleep that you need in order to feel rested and rejuvenated.
Tips for Better Sleep:
There are a few simple things that you can do to improve your sleep quality.
First, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. Both of these substances can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
Second, establish a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. This will help to regulate your body's natural sleep rhythm.
It is important to create an environment in your bedroom that promotes relaxation and comfortable sleep. This means keeping noise and light levels low and making sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable. It should feel like a safe, calm and happy place that you look forward to each evening.
Next, create a relaxing bedtime routine that includes winding down for up to 30 minutes before you turn off the lights. This could involve reading, listening to calm music, or stretching and deep breathing, a bath or hot shower even just lighting a candle. A few moments of calm go a long way!
Finally, avoid using electronic devices in bed as the blue light from screens can disrupt your natural circadian rhythms and make it harder to fall asleep.
Getting enough quality sleep is essential for our overall health and well-being. If you're struggling to get a good night's rest, try following some of the tips above. Establishing a healthy sleep routine will help you feel more energetic and productive during the day. Sweet dreams!