Whoever said “sleep is for the weak” is not only downright lying, they’re delusional.
A healthy amount of sleep plays a huge role in promoting and maintaining a person’s good health and overall well being. How active, alert and productive you are during your waking hours is partly determined by the quality of sleep that you get. A good night’s sleep will help you be happier and more focused, while the lack of it makes you less motivated and impulsive.
While you sleep, your brain stores new information you learned during the day, improving your memory. Your body repairs damaged cells and restores lost energy, making you ready for another day. Imagine all these important biological processes not happening because you’re not getting enough sleep? In addition, lack of adequate sleep is linked to several serious health conditions such as obesity, heart disease and depression. Yikes!
Now that you know how important sleep is to your health, why don’t you give your body some well deserved zzz’s tonight? We’ve listed down some tips to help you get a good night snooze:
BEDROOM = OASIS
Make your bedroom into your own personal oasis - a place where you go to rest, recoup and re-energize for the next day’s battles. Now that more and more people are working from home, it’s so easy to just get your laptop and work right at your bed! While this may seem gratifyingly rewarding and harmless the moment you’re doing it, it may not be doing you and your sleeping habits a favor in the long run.
Your brain has a different conditioning for when you’re working and for when you’re sleeping. If you mix the spaces where you do these two distinct activities, your brain will be confused. Instead of your brain associating the comfort and warmth of your bed to sleep and rest, it may associate it with the focus and alertness required when you’re working, making it difficult to power down.
As much as possible, and to encourage a better quality of sleep for you, try to remove all work-related materials such as computers and laptops out of the bedroom, so you can increase your mental association between your bedroom and sleeping.
Invest in sleep inducing bedroom essentials! Part of #adulting is being attuned to self-care, and getting a good quality pillow with a good quality mattress from your trusty shop is one of the first steps. Grab a relaxing sleep essential oil while you’re in there too.
SLEEP WHEN YOU’RE TIRED
How many times have you gone to bed and just frustratingly rolled over several times because you can’t snooze off? Try sleeping for about 20 to 30 minutes and if you’re still up without any sign of dozing off soon, try doing something else like folding the laundry or reading a book so you can give your brain the space to calm down.
Before going to bed, you can also try having hot tea or a nice warm shower to ready yourself for a nice slumber.
Try, with as much self control as you possibly can, not to check your phone or watch TV because these screens will only excite your brain more, not relax it. Also, try not to look at your bedroom clock when you can’t sleep, it will only make sleeping harder and more stressful for you.
MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY
You’ve gotten so accustomed to doing things non-stop that most of the time while you carefully plan your priorities and the way you approach things, you forget to include time to rest and sleep. You tend to think you’re invincible and you can just go on and on without resting. Newsflash, you’re not and no one else is. You need to acknowledge the fact that even if you are oozing with so much youth and energy during the day, you also need to power down and at some point, hit the sack.
Incorporate sleep as part of your schedule and try to stick to it as much as you can. Dedicate 8 hrs every day for sleeping and try to go to bed around the same to reinforce the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
Also, the next time you’re planning or working on something, may it be a big project or an event, make sure to set aside time to rest and sleep. While pulling an all-nighter seems to be the most viable option to finish a project, doing it often will only make you more unproductive, not to mention more prone to diseases, in the long run.
Sleep, although a bit underrated because it’s “boring”, has a whole plethora of benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you have tried the tips mentioned above and nothing seems to improve your sleep quality, try consulting with a sleep doctor to check what other changes you need to do to make you sleep better.
The quality of your sleep is almost just as important as the quantity of it. If you’re sleeping for 7 hours but you wake up several times during the night, try reevaluating your sleeping habits and patterns and effecting change. Your body will thank you for it. It’s almost a cliche to say to take good care of your body because you’re only getting one in this lifetime, but the truth is, you really should.
So no, sleep isn’t for the weak, in fact, it’s only done by the strong.
Hero Image by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash.