At the end of the day, it all comes back to it : sleep, the body’s time to regenerate and heal. Especially during midterm/finals season or during vacation, sleeping becomes a second thought. Adults need 8-7 hours of sleep while growing children and teens need at least 9 hours. Insufficient sleep can lead to poor performance, mood swings and falling health, contributing to skin treatment and maintanence of weight. Here are some tips to getting that night’s worth of rest:
Wired? Get Unplugged
Studies have shown that the more electronic distractions, such as a computer, cell phone, radio, or Ipod, a person has in his or her room, the less sleep the person gets. The average person has about 1 to 2 electronic devices. Our brains enjoy being active and are attracted to stimulants such as electronics. Give yourself at least an hour to unplug fand settle down before sleeping.
Close with Comfort
Assess your sleeping space. Are you comfortable? Do your pillows and mattress provide the necessary support for your body? If not, any change that will meet these needs are ideal for increasing sleep quality. Everyone’s comfort level is different than others so always keep in mind personal preference when shopping for home products.
Keep Eating Light
Drinking and eating large meals before going to bed interferes with the sleeping cycle as the stomach takes time to digest food. Taking in fluids may cause frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Stay away from drinks containing caffiene and sugar as caffiene can take up to 8 hours to fully filter out of the body. Alcohol should be avoided as well as its sedating effects can wear off and cause uppity behavior.
Keep a lenient plan for when you sleep, going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. An erratic sleep schedule can mess with body function during the day. Those who stay up late tend to crash during the day and cannot work to the best of their ability. Log in times before bed to relax. For example, taking hot baths just before going to bed lowers body temperature and has a relaxing effect.
Lay Back and Relax
Meditation and yoga excercises are helpful to coax yourself to sleep. Tense your muscles tightly and then gradually release the tension from the toes to your head. Close your eyes and concentrate on breathing deeply in and out. If you find yourself lying awake in bed for more than 20 minutes, take time to unwind by doing some relaxing activities (reading, drawing, etc.).
If you feel that you may have sleeping problems, consullt a docotr or medical specialist.