Constantly fatigued? Low attention span? Irritability and unstable mood swings? These are common effects of low, poor quality sleep affecting a majority of the human population. Adults between 18 and 64 need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. 10% and 30% of adults struggle with chronic insomnia. 40% of people with insomnia are believed to also be affected by a mental health disorder, most commonly depression.
A good night’s sleep empowers the body to recover and refresh itself for the next day. Unfortunately, many people don’t get the rest that they need due voluntary or involuntary reasons. The above-mentioned stats are a clear indication regarding the impact of the modern-day lifestyle on our well-being. With this blog, we try to address the issue with 4 actionable tips that you can start using tonight.
Exposure to sunlight at its various wavelengths help reset the circadian rhythm. (The circadian rhythm or cycle is a 24-hour response process
that regulates the sleep–wake cycle and dictates the normal functioning of living beings). People who were exposed to greater amounts of light during the morning hours, between 8 AM and noon, fell asleep more quickly with fewer disturbances during sleep. Our bodies release melatonin as a response which is crucial for a good night’s sleep. The more the melatonin, the deeper the sleep, the better your overall well-being. Consequently, serotonin released after a good night’s sleep and during exposure to the sun, reduces feelings of depression and stress.
Blue light emitted by electronics, besides causing phototoxicity, tricks our mind and body into thinking it’s still daytime. The reason: Blue light emitted by electronics corresponds to the wavelength of light during the mornings slightly before midday to afternoon, thereby delaying sleep when used before bedtime. The onset of sleep varies for each person. So as a general idea, it’s best to avoid usage of electronics in the evening. In today’s world it’s almost impossible as we are surrounded by screens and are used for the most basic of needs. Trying to set a ‘Pre-bedtime hour’ devoid of electronics can be effective. A blue light filter on the screen or special spectacles could help lessen the damage.
Stress and anxiety are silent killers for a reason. They wreak havoc on our bodies unbeknownst to us mainly via hormonal imbalances, which severely impacts our body’s circadian cycle. There isn’t a single approach to this as circumstances vary for us all. Stress can be reduced by talking to someone about your concerns who can give positive feedback, light stretching, lavender fragrances, etc. Maintain a notepad to write down these ideas and thoughts so you don’t ‘worry’ about forgetting them.
Also, this means no exercising close to bed time. Working out is great. But the timing is crucial. Working out releases cortisol as a response to the ‘stressful’ exercises. Unsurprisingly, exercise before bedtime elevates the heart rate and invigorates the body, thereby delaying sleep. the period of time that it takes to reach normal varies from person to person.
Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep whereas teens need 8 to 10 hours of sleep to be able to function optimally the next day. Your biological clock regulates your body’s day and night processes over 24 hours. A strict sleep schedule reinforces your circadian rhythm and helps your body run efficiently. Better mood, lesser irritability, better cognitive responses, better metabolism; the benefits are totally worth it. Ensure you are going to sleep at the same time every night and aim for a good 7-8 hours. Creating a calming bedtime routine, decluttering the mind and surroundings, maybe a little meditation are all tried and tested methods.
If you’ve read till here, it means you are serious about sleep. A good night’s sleep does wonders for your body. The healthier you are, the better your quality of life. Achieving your dreans starts with a good night’s sleep. Follow the above tips and lets us know how they’ve helped you.
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