The Importance of Shut-eye
Are you getting enough sleep? If you are an adult and you are sleeping less than seven hours, the answer is no.
Sleep deprivation, even an hour or two, will catch up to you by the end of the week. After several nights of losing sleep, you will function as if you haven not sleep at all for a day or two, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Sleep deprivation will not only hurt you in the short term, but it is linked to increased risk for heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. With this in mind, here are some tips for getting a good night’s sleep and staying healthy:
Keep a Schedule
One of the best methods for ensuring you get enough sleep is to make a schedule and keep it. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even the weekends. Sleeping in and deviating from the schedule can interfere with your body’s sleep-wake rhythm, according to the NIH. This rhythm is what tells your body when to wake up and fall asleep.
Prep for Bed
About an hour before bed, spend time doing a quiet activity and preparing for sleep. Things like artificial bright light from TVs or computer screens, large meals, nicotine and caffeine all affect your body and make it harder to fall asleep. Consider reading a book and drinking some tea instead.
Being active might seem counterintuitive to a good night’s sleep, but exercising earlier in the day will actually help burn energy and get you prepared for sleep. Exercise is important for countless reasons, but, if for no other reason, consider a light workout earlier in the day to help you fall asleep at night.