Sleeping. Am I doing it right?
It’s definitely a question to ask yourself, or even must ask yourself! Given we spend about a third of our lives in bed, this topic is well worth some critical thought. So what better opportunity than World Sleep Day to talk about … indeed, The Importance of a Healthy Sleep!
It’s just a phase.
Sleeping undergoes different phases. Each phase is unique and follows a set order, and this sequence repeats itself every time you sleep. In order to ultimately experience a healthy night’s sleep, it’s not so much about the number of phases you undergo, but about having an uninterrupted sleep rhythm! Take, for example, little kids waking you up in the middle of the night. Or getting up to go to the toilet…
While sleeping, your body undergoes both a mental and a physical reset. A good night’s sleep gives your brain and body time to rest and restore.
A little tip for the students among us. Your brain better processes and retains what you learned that day during a long, high-quality night’s sleep! A night of good sleep is sometimes more effective than a night of cramming.
Mental & physical ailments.
Not sleeping well is harmful in the long term, but certainly in the short term as well! You experience more than just being tired. Lack of sleep can also cause delayed reaction time, impaired concentration, irritability and depression. Over the longer term, a chronic lack of sleep can be the cause of type II diabetes, heart failure, high blood pressure and even stroke. A good night’s sleep is key! That’s why it is extremely important to consult a doctor or specialist when in doubt.
Can I make up for my sleep deprivation?
A very good question with a clear answer: no. There is no such thing as going to sleep to make up for a sleep deficit. Although you will feel better by sleeping longer and you give your brain time to restore, you will never fully recover from a previously acquired sleep deficiency. This results in long-term symptoms over a long period. In other words, what you’ve lost, really is lost!
Quality over quantity
When we talk about sleep, it’s difficult to avoid the well-known discussion: How many hours of sleep do you need? Well, most people fall into the category of medium-length sleepers. That is, the majority of people need an average of 8 hours of sleep. But, naturally, this too depends on the individual. Consider the various factors that play a role, such as gender, age, daily activities, or even genetic predisposition! It is important to note that a good night’s sleep is often more effective than a long night’s sleep.
But what can you do now?
After describing lots of pitfalls and dangers of a bad night’s sleep, this blog would not be complete without some practical tips that you can immediately put to use for a good night’s sleep.
- Doing enough exercise or sport during the day naturally ensures your body gets tired and has you looking forward to bed. But did you know that this equally tires you mentally? So yes, an activity like going for a long walk can help you sleep better both mentally and physically.
- So how about a nice glass of wine to help you fall asleep? Well, you’re better off not doing that anymore! Drinking alcohol before bed can often make for a restless night.
- Avoid using electronic devices about an hour before bedtime. And yes, that also includes those smart phones. Give your mind and body the chance to wind down after a long day, without too many distractions! Instead, perhaps choose to read a book. A hot bath can also work wonders. So long as it relaxes you.
- Now that you’re all ready for a wonderful night’s sleep, let’s make sure the bedroom is too! Hopefully, we don’t have to tell you that a comfortable bed and pillow are the key to a good night’s sleep. But do you truly have a bed and pillow that suit you? This can often be the cause of your sleep problems without you even realizing it. Be sure to pop in to your nearest Velda sleep specialist for advice.
- Your nightwear should also be comfortable. Choose clothes that are not too tight, or cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
- We all do it, swinging a leg out of bed to get the perfect temperature. Well, if you make sure you go to sleep in a dark room with a not too warm temperature and a pleasant humidity level, this problem may well become a thing of the past. 18°C is the ideal bedroom temperature.
- As mentioned above, sleep is different for everyone. You have people who sleep solidly for the whole night while snoring, and then you have their partners whom it keeps awake all night! But if you’re struggling with a chronic sleep deficiency, or you’ve been having a sleep problem for some time, be sure to consult a specialist who can help you!
- Then it only remains for us to wish you a heartfelt ‘sleep well‘!