Most of us know that if we want to be healthy we need to exercise and eat right. But what do we know about sleep? Sleep is essential to better health and we spend about one third of our lives asleep. But many of us say that they suffer from sleep problems at least once a week and wake up feeling exhausted. So, how to sleep better?
WHY IS SLEEP GOOD?
- Naps improve our patience.
- An early bedtime may help kids fight weight gain.
- More sleep, fewer colds.
- A good night’s sleep may improve sex life.
- Better sleep can improve your marriage.
How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?
You are the best person to determine how much sleep do you need. You probably need more sleep if you feel tired. Specific guidance offered by science says that people are healthier and live longer if they sleep 7 hours a night. If people sleep less than 7 hours it can be associated with a range of health problems including heart disease, obesity, impaired immune function, and depression. But it is very individual and lifestyle, age, genetics, and environment all play a role.
ASK YOURSELF: ‘AM I SLEEPY?’
With this simple question, you can easily determine if you’re getting adequate sleep. If you often feel tired your body is telling you that it’s not getting enough sleep.If still feeling tired and sleep-deprived and you’re getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night you may be suffering from a sleep disorder or interrupted sleep.
KEEP A SLEEP DIARY
You may think you’re getting enough sleep, but you’ll be surprised once you see your sleep patterns written down in black and white.
- Write down the hour you go to bed and the hour you wake up.
- Determine how many hours you sleep. Note even if you wake up in the middle of the night or you take naps.
- Note how you felt in the morning.
Once you determine your natural sleep needs, make a plan and think about the time you need to wake up to get to school or work on time and pick a bedtime that allows you to sleep enough and to wake up refreshed.