Importance of Sleep

If you think that sleep is just a period of inactivity, think again. Our nightly shut-eye allows our brains to consolidate our learning and memory so we can perform tasks better the next day.

If you’ve ever been sleep deprived, you would have noticed your inability to concentrate, slow responses, impulsive decision-making and even felt easily annoyed or depressed. Not to forget those dark eye circles that refuse to budge.

Perhaps sleeping in on the weekends could make you feel better, but what’s lost is lost. Two days of better rest cannot compensate for a week’s worth of impaired performance.

Related: Sleep Well, Live Better

What is considered good sleep?

The quantity and quality of sleep determine whether you wake up feeling energized or like a walking zombie. So do yourself a favour and consider adopting the following practices:

Related: Are You Getting Quality Sleep?

Do's

Sleep for 6-8 Hours Daily

Depending on your age, the optimal sleep duration varies. But if you find yourself still in bed after 10 hours, you may have an underlying sleep problem.

Create a Consistent Sleep Pattern

Try to sleep and wake up at the same time each day to improve the overall quality of sleep in the long run.

Bask in the Sun a Little

Exposure to daylight controls the melatonin levels in your body. This sets your body clock and ensures that you’re awake during the day and sleepy at night.

Get Active During the Day

Exercise allows for a night of better rest.

Follow a Bedtime Routine

Wind down from the chaos of the day by calming your senses. Grab a book, take a warm bath, or listen to soothing music. Ladies, now’s the time to put on your face mask.

Get Comfy

When you’re spending one-third of your life in bed, it’s worthy to invest in a good pillow and mattress to help you sleep well.

Related: Sweet Dreams are Made of These

Don'ts

Avoid Working Out Before Bedtime

Exercise activates the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, keeping you unnecessarily awake at night.

Avoid Starving or Heavy Meals Before Sleep

It’s hard to sleep when your stomach is rumbling or gorged. Eat a couple of hours before sleep, or have a glass of milk before heading to bed.

Don’t Catch Too Much Winks in the Day

Napping messes with your sleep schedule, making it difficult to sleep at night.

If You are Wide Awake, Don’t Force it

The anxiety of not falling asleep makes sleeping harder. Get up and do something relaxing (e.g. read a book, meditate or listen to music) till you feel tired enough.

Avoid Caffeine or Alcohol Before Bedtime

There’s a reason why we drink coffee in the morning – it promotes wakefulness. While alcohol may make you drowsy, it impacts the quality of sleep.

Eliminate Distractors from the Bedroom

Using electronics like televisions, phones and laptops not only defer your sleep, but also emit blue light that delays the release of sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.


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