Why is getting a good night’s sleep so important? Well, because when we don’t, it affects the quality of our waking life, both physically and mentally.
I’ve been hearing complaints of ‘being tired’ a lot lately. These words, “I’m so tired”, come from family, friends and clients. The reason is always because they don’t sleep well. They don’t get enough sleep, they can’t fall asleep, or they don’t stay asleep.
The reasons they don’t sleep well can vary tremendously. From college students cramming for finals and new parents being sleep deprived, to adults being stressed out and anxious from all that life throws at them at an alarming rate. The consequences remain the same, it affects the quality of our waking life, both physically and mentally.
There are various stages of sleep and I’m no expert but I’ve done some research and learned a few things. We go in and out of quiet, or non-REM and REM(rapid eye movement or dreaming) stages throughout the night. The quiet stage restores, or repairs the body and the REM stage restores the mind, by purging mental clutter. Our bodies are miraculous in so many ways and when we sleep, it repairs and restores itself!
Lack of, or not sleeping well can cause poor performance at work or school, affect relationships, cause accidents when driving or at work, affect thinking and learning, can lead to serious health issues, can contribute to symptoms of depression, can cause weight gain, etc. I could go on but you get the gist.
There is a lot of information on the internet about getting a good night’s sleep. There are articles that explain the definition of sleep and explain the different stages that we go in and out of during our slumber. Some talk about sleep disorders in terms of defining what they are, the symptoms, and information on how to deal with them.
You may or may not have a sleep disorder, but if you’re experiencing effects of not getting a good night’s sleep, a little investigation is in order. You may want to try one, or a few of the tips below first to see if anything changes. If not, then do so research and if that doesn’t change anything, I encourage you to visit your doctor.
- Go to sleep and wake at the same time each day, including weekends.
- Daily exercise for 20 – 30 minutes, earlier in the day; at least 3 hours before going to bed.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcoholic drinks before bed.
- Make your bedroom comfortable to promote sleep; comfy mattress & pillow, comfortable temperature, and don’t watch television in bed.
- Take a warm bath with lavender essential oil to promote relaxation.
- Stop all activities 2 – 3 hours before bedtime to allow your body to wind down.
- Avoid long daytime naps.
What tips can you share to promote a good night’s sleep?