I need to Sleep!
You are absolutely right. Sleep is a massive part of a healthy life. I know that’s music to some of your ears. It is vital to your wellbeing.
We have different stages of sleep, NREM1-4 which makes up around 75% of our nights sleep, the kind you might have if you dose during a lecture or lesson at school, as you drift between consciousness and asleep, all the way through to the most restorative sleep you can have, which is in NREM sleep stage 4.
Then there is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, when your brain is active and you are busily dreaming away, which makes up approximately 25% of your nights sleep.
The body does amazing things for itself when you are asleep, all of which are incredibly important.
Blood pressure drops
Breathing becomes slower
Muscles are relaxed
Blood supply to muscles increases
Tissue growth and repair occurs
Energy is restored
Hormones are released, such as: Growth hormone, essential for growth and development, including muscle development
There are recommended quantities of sleep required by human beings, most adults require anywhere from 7-9 hours a night. But babies for example the suggested sleep quantity is 11-14 hours a day, pre-schoolers, 3-5 years 10-13 hours, school age children 6-13 9-11 hours and teenagers 14-17 8-10 hours sleep.
What are some good habits to ensure that you get the best possible sleep nightly, you want to practice good habits.
Go to bed a similar time each night
Don’t go to bed on an empty stomach, although your evening meal should be a couple of hours prior to going to bed.
Avoid caffeine for up to 4 hours prior to going to bed
Relax for around an hour prior to going to bed
Avoid the blue light of computer screens and devices as it can reduce the levels of Melatonin released which as the sleep hormone
These are just a few things and there are many more things that can put the odds in your favour to have a good nights sleep.
If you are unable to sleep or tossing and turning in bed, the best option is to get up, move to another room and sit quietly in the dark until such time as you feel sleepy again, this helps the brain link the bedroom and bed to sleeping, not tossing and turning for ages trying to get to sleep. Going to sleep cannot be forced.
The bottom line is this the 1/3 of our lives we spend asleep with determine the quality of the other 2/3’s of our lives.