It's not rocket science to sleep well. Still so many of us are struggling with sleep problems, lack of sleep or just plain bad quality sleep. Any of this will affect the day after. It will actually affect our entire life. It's really time to get a grip on how to sleep well.
But why do we need to sleep at all? you might ask. Even the founder of Stanford University's Sleep Research Center could only say this:
"As far as I know, the only reason we need to sleep that is really, really solid is because we get sleepy."
So let's get to the more practical areas too see how to get a good night sleep. Join me as I lay out the why's and how to's.
Let's start with this question. Sleep is a state where we are much more unaware of external stimuli. Basically, it's often thought of as the time to regain energy.
In reality, this is not so much the truth, since our metabolism is only lowered about 10-20 percent. However, sleep serves an important function. The only thing we can say for sure is that we are gravely affected by any lack of sleep. That's all we need to know for now about what sleep is.
Now this is the money question right here. We all know what really good sleep feels like. At least, how it feels the day after and how it feels in general after having a good sleep habit.
You know, being alert all day without any need for power naps and having enough energy to exercise. Mainly, it can be characterized by:
These four areas are all that matters. According to me, if you manage to sleep like this, then you will have nothing to complain about :-)
Sleeping through the night is the basis for healthy sleep. This way, you let your body go through all the necessarynecessary sleep cycles. Some things that can wake you up are for example
It's really important for your sleep that you make sure you can sleep without any disturbances. That way you can wake up fresh and have a great morning!
Having a comfortable sleep obviously means sleeping in a comfortable bed. Duh... But it actually means that you should have great sleep hygiene as well. But first, let's focus on the bed. You probably know how it can feel after a weekend at a cheap getaway where the bed is way too soft or just hard as a stone block.
You can barely move...
You see, the thing is that the effects are not just seen after the sleep. No No. The quality of your sleep will have suffered as well! You need to really get a bed that fits you personally. There's no way around it, sorry.
Second comes the sleep hygiene. In short, make sure You are in a good state and that the sleep Environment is clean and good. Bad air or sleeping in the wrong position can be one of many reasons for waking up with a headache.
Even if you manage to get uninterrupted sleep in a comfortable bed, you won't manage unless you are getting enough sleep. I'm afraid that 5 or 6 hours is too short in the long run to really sleep well. 7-8 is the recommended length, and unless you have super powers you should probably aim to be within this range.
The average American sleeps 6.9 hours per night, which unfortunately has negative effects on the general health.
I know, we all want to have that extra hour per day to do everyone we plan. The only way to manage is to make sure we are alert and energetic once we are up. So 7-8 per day is actually not that much. If we manage to get quality sleep, then you won't feel like you have to collapse in the couch at the end of the day.
I would rather go for 16 high-energetic hours per day instead of 18 struggling half-awake hours each day
I have found some great help on how to prioritize using some simple, yet very effective, time management skills. So if you need to save time to get a good sleep, then learning how to manage your time is golden!
Healthy sleep is the last key to sleep well. But how can you fail if you have long, comfortable and uninterrupted sleep? you might ask. Actually, you can.
We don't have full control over our bodies so there can always be other things affecting us. Too high stress level or other negative emotions can affect our sleep habits and alternative the rest mechanisms of our mind and body. The effects can e.g. be morning headaches.
All you can do is too live a healthy life and make some adjustments to suit your sleep needs.
If you follow the tips and techniques that I've outline on this site to be able to sleep well, I have no doubt that you can sleep better. Remember, several minor changes to some of your habits can make your sleep quality skyrocket!
And if you have deeper sleep problems there's always sleep training available for you.
For those of you looking for learning all the facts about sleep, then the National Sleep Foundation has tons of articles about how sleep really works - it's well worth a visit.
But I would say that the ultimate sleep resource is this...
In conclusion, your sleep is too important to overlook. Now get out there... I mean get in that bed... and sleep!
Early Riser > Sleep Well
Thanks for reading! By Matthew M. McEwan
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