We all know what it’s like sleep poorly or not enough, that familiar groggy feeling will hang around like a fog for the entire day. And being tired doesn’t just feel miserable, it’s bad for your health – especially if it’s a chronic issue and not just a one-off night of bad sleep. Plus, studies have shown that being extremely sleep deprived has similar effects to being intoxicated.
Sleep is critical for our mood, memories, and restoration of our entire body. A lack of sleep can leave you with memory problems, a compromised immune system, and raise your risk for certain health problems like heart disease. Not sleeping enough can also make you vulnerable to “microsleeps,” which are involuntary periods of sleep lasting several seconds that can happen at any time when you’re sleep-deprived. If you’re driving or doing another dangerous activity, a microsleep could be deadly.
Below, we will dive into why sleep is so important and the steps you can take to ensure that your slumber is peaceful and restful.
Why is sleep important?
Adults have a lot going on in their lives – work, family obligations, social obligations, bills, exercise, and anything else that may come up during the day. To get everything done, many choose to skimp out on sleep. But failing to prioritize your sleep means you’re also not prioritizing your health.
For your emotional, mental, and physical well-being, 7-8 hours of sleep of night is ideal. You can use naps as a strategy to catch up but there’s no way to recover from chronic sleep debt.
Can’t seem to get to sleep? Here are some tips that might help whisk you off to dreamland more quickly:
Create a serene environment
When you design your bedroom or add accessories to it, be thoughtful about what you put in your sleeping space. Choose a comfortable mattress, a mattress protector for hygiene, a warm throw, and a neutral color palette on the walls to keep things calm and cozy. Add in some thoughtful touches like ambient lighting from a Himalayan salt lamp or a soothing nightlight.
Most importantly, do your best to keep it tidy and clean. You don’t want to be stressed out by clutter when you’re trying to sleep. Keep the space as minimal as possible.
Invest in a white noise machine
For some of us, it’s hard to sleep in dead silence. Especially for those who tend to think obsessively or get anxious, silence can make your thoughts feel loud and overwhelming. A soothing white noise machine might be the answer. It can provide the right amount of distraction to fall asleep. Many white noise machines have a set of sounds to choose from like ocean waves, rain, and other gentle noises.
Establish a regular bedtime
A regular bedtime is essential because the human body thrives on routine. If you go to bed at 8.00 pm some nights and 1.00 am other nights, your body’s circadian rhythm may be thrown off – leaving you feeling tired and uneasy. If you can go to bed within an hour or thirty minutes of your target bedtime, you might be surprised by how refreshed you begin to feel in the morning.
Limit your blue light exposure
Blue light, the light emitted by digital devices like your smartphone, interrupts your body’s natural sleep processes. For example, the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy, is disrupted if you stare into any device too close to your bedtime. Try to stay away from blue light 1-2 hours before your bedtime. Instead, doodle or read a book (but not on an e-reader).
Start a relaxing routine
If you find it hard to wind down after a busy day, you’re not alone. But, find some activities you find relaxing like having a bath, sketching out designs on a notepad, or reading. Doing a quiet activity can help quiet your mind and signal to your body that you’re ready for sleep.
Conclusion: Sleep, the right way
By establishing a consistent routine, creating a relaxing bedroom space, and focusing on prioritizing sleep, you can enjoy a more restful sleep. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be dreaming before you know it.