It’s no surprise that sleep is a vital part of daily life. Unfortunately, too many people, especially parents, don’t get the recommended amount of sleep, and because of this, they are putting their health and well-being in jeopardy. According to the National Sleep Foundation, an adult between the ages of 26 to 64 should have 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Since daily life can get in the way of proper sleeping habits, most of us don’t know what it feels like to be truly rested. When you add in stimulants, like energy drinks, coffee, alarm clocks, and artificial lighting that interfere with our natural sleep and wake cycle you get a recipe for disaster.
Benefits of Sleep
Research has shown that getting a good night’s sleep will help to improve learning and problem-solving skills. It also increases attention span and improves creativity and decision making. It’s rather frightening to think about what sleep deficiency can actually do to your body and how it can alter brain activity. Studies have linked sleep deficiency with risk taking behavior, depression, and even suicide. Furthermore, children and teens who don’t get enough sleep can have difficulty getting along with others, and may even begin to have impulsive or angry feelings. They can also experience lack of motivation and stress.
Proper sleep isn’t just required for good mental health; it also plays a huge role in your physical health. Sleeping gives your body a chance to repair itself and rest is required for the healing process. How often have you heard a doctor say “Get some rest” after an injury, sickness, or surgery? That’s because sleep is vitally important to all aspects of your health. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to an increase risk in high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Tips on Getting Enough Sleep
There are several things you can do to help get more sleep.
One way is to create a sleep schedule and stick to it. This will involve going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, which includes weekends and days off. By being consistent, you are reinforcing your sleep and wake cycle to help promote a better night’s sleep.
Another way to get more sleep is to leave certain tasks to others. For example, instead of packing up the kids and running to the grocery store to get all the ingredients for tonight’s dinner, let an organic meal delivery service take care of it for you. All the ingredients are delivered to your door, along with preparation instructions and with organic healthy ingredients, your family is eating well and you've saved some time.
Be mindful of what you eat and drink before bed. Going to bed while stuffed or with a grumbling empty belly can keep you up at night. You should also limit the amount you drink before bed since the pending pressure on your bladder will result in disruptive trips to the bathroom while you’re trying to get some shut eye. Furthermore, avoid caffeine and nicotine late in the day since these items can have a stimulating effect that is known to greatly reduce the quality of sleep.
Add some physical activity into your daily life. Research has shown that regular exercise, or any physical activity for that matter, goes a long way in prompting a good night’s sleep. Not only can it help you fall asleep quicker, it also increases the chance of deeper sleep. With that said, you must be mindful of when the activity takes place since it can keep you up if done too close to the time you go to bed.