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Quality sleep is just as important for your health as a healthy diet and physical activity. Sleep deficiency can lead to countless problems so you want to avoid it at all costs.

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People of all ages are prone to sleep deprivation. Unfortunately, there are many things that can interfere with sleep quality. Like all other needs, sleeping forms an integral part of good health so ensuring quality sleep equals investing in your well-being. Fortunately, there are many simple things we can do to avoid the countless consequences of sleep deprivation.

 Importance of Sleep  

Sleep deficiency can cause a multitude of physical and mental health problems. Most importantly, it directly interferes with your functioning so it can easily negatively impact your work, studies, and social relationships. However, it can do much more than make you feel cranky as poor sleep had a significant role in human errors that lead to tragic accidents. It’s time to break a myth that says that people can learn to live with less sleep as there are bound to be negative consequences. We are designed to sleep for a third of a lifetime for a reason as this is a basic need that is just as important as drinking water and eating.

In a nutshell, poor sleep is linked to:

  • Obesity – quality sleepers tend to eat less whereas poor sleep increases the level of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin and reduces the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin

  • Increased risk of heart disease and stroke

  • Poor glucose metabolism and increased type 2 diabetes risk

  • Increased inflammation – your body does an important job overnight. Without this detox, our bodies become prone to inflammatory processes and chronic conditions.

  • Depression- 90% of people struggling with depression are sleep deprived

  • Poor social interactions – being sleep tired is believed to negatively impact our ability to process our emotions and social cues.

  • Increased risk of injury due to reduced alertness

 On a brighter note, health benefits of quality sleep can greatly enhance your overall quality of life by resulting in:

  • Improved concentration, learning, and productivity

  • Optimal athletic performance

  • Stronger immune system

  1. Go to the mattresses

Every eight years, on average, you will most likely be needing a new mattress. This is quite an investment so the more research you put into it, the better. Alternatively, if you are sleep deprived, meaning you don’t feel rested or wake up in pain, it might be worth considering replacing your mattress. With so many variations out there, it can be a hard choice to make. But, there are some basic rules to help you out:

  • Memory foam is best for a hug, body shaping, contour, pressure relief, and support.

  • Latex works well for sleepers who want great bounce, cooling, and responsiveness. Basically, sleepers who want foam without the hug and contour.

  • Coils is the traditional choice for support, cooling, and great bounce.

  • Add a pillow-top if you want extra comfort

  • If you want best of all words, buy a hybrid

Most importantly, don’t forget that the price does not necessarily equal quality but doesn’t always go with the cheapest option.

  1. Tips for a peaceful sleep

Some of the well-known tips that always work are to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, avoid heavy meals before bedtime, avoid caffeine and make a pleasant pre-sleep ritual one hour before bed. But the modern lifestyle often labels these activities as a luxury. Fortunately, modern times also brought us the gift of tech developments and abundant knowledge. There are many tricks and gadgets that can help you ensure quality sleep and even let you get away with some not-so-healthy habits. 

  • Sound machine – the sound is one of the biggest sleep disruptors. Believe it or not, masking noise such as background noise or a snoring partner actually does the trick. A sound machine doesn’t eliminate disruptive noise, but it can distract and soothe you.

  • Eye mask – studies shown that using an eye mask results in more REM time, shorter REM latency, less arousal, and elevated melatonin levels.

  • Blackout curtains block out light that signals the brain that it’s time to wake up. It’s simple really, your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, which makes you sleepy. Likewise, it reduces it when it’s light, making you more alert. Moreover, these curtains will provide your room with a layer of insulation and result in a lower utility bill.

  • If you are a hot sleeper you might want to invest in a pair of cooling sheets. Cooling sheets can help regulate your body temperature which can help decrease the tossing and turning to give you a more restful night’s sleep. Cooling sheets also take some of the pressure off of the HVAC system doing all the work in cooling down your body temp which can result in several hundreds of dollars off your Scana Energy bill – so you can also ease financial stress which is also one of the common reasons of sleep deprivation.

  • Consume food and drinks that induce sleep

Foods that contain tryptophan and serotonin are beneficial because they boost the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. They are pumpkin seeds, chicken, turkey, and a cup of milk. Alternatively, you can have a cup of soothing lavender tea.

 Takeaway 

The bottom line is simple. There is no optimal health without quality sleep. Studies have shown that getting enough quality sleep at the right times is vital for mental and physical health, physical health, as well as our overall quality of life and safety. Just don’t forget to take care of both how long you sleep as well as how well you sleep.

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