SLEEP: A LOVE LANGUAGE TO YOURSELF
All work and no play they say makes Jack a dull boy is a reference to the need and importance of a work-life balance. ‘Play’ in this scenario refers to any activity which allows you to wind down, take a break and relax. One of such activities is Sleep.
Getting enough sleep is essential for helping a person maintain optimal health and well-being. On average, each adult should sleep for at least 7-9 hours for optimal rest. The intricacies of our lives often make it difficult for us to remember to rest. For many, the burden of work obligations, family pressures, life aspirations amongst other factors implies that we have very little time to consider self-care especially in the form of sleep.
Nevertheless, Sleep is important for the rest, repair & renewal of our bodies. The human body requires long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones. Sleep is vital for good mental health. A decent night’s rest can make a positive impact on your entire day.
The benefits of sleep are immense and inexhaustible. They include improved memory, stress reduction, lowered blood pressure, keeping the heart healthy and improved mood. Good sleep helps improve productivity and concentration because by being well-rested, your body systems have a chance to relax and on waking, you have more energy which ultimately improves productivity. One of the vital roles of sleep is to help us solidify and consolidate memories. As we go about our day, our brains take in an enormous amount of information. Fortunately, as we sleep, bits and pieces of information are transferred from our short-term memory to stronger, long-term memory via a process called “consolidation.”.
There is evidence to show that after people sleep, they tend to retain information and perform better on memory tasks. Likewise, good sleep prevents the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The effects of poor sleep are numerous and paint a grim picture for our general well-being and quality of life. Poor sleep affects glucose metabolism and increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes. This happens because lack of sleep changes the way the body interprets hunger signals, leaving one with cravings that can be hard to control. The evidence shows that individuals who sleep for five hours or less at night are more likely to become obese during the next decade.
Beyond physical ailments, poor sleep can lead to mental health issues including sleeping disorders and depression. Socially, poor sleep also affects our ability to interact with others as it impacts our ability to accurately assess verbal and environmental cues.
It is without saying that we must learn to make sleep a priority. You must schedule sleep like any other daily activity, so put it on your “to-do list” and cross it off every night. But don’t make it the thing you do only after everything else is done – stop doing other things so you get the sleep you need.
There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Here are several tips on how to ensure you have a good night’s rest:
- Establish a regular bedtime and waking time.
- Allow yourself to take a nap if you’re tired.
- Adjust to a healthier lifestyle regarding your substance use.
- Create a caffeine cut-off time.
- Change up your bedtime snack.
- Watch your workout routine.
- Use comfortable inviting bedding.
- Find a comfortable sleep temperature setting and keep the room well ventilated.
- Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
- Reserve your bed for sleep and sex, avoid using it for work and general recreation.
In addition to the tips above, we recommend relaxation techniques such as breathing and meditation exercises. If you find that you are unable to shed the worries of the day, you can journal and take stock of what happened as a form of release. Good sleep is not only based on how long you sleep but how well. The quality of your sleep matters and the tips above help to greatly improve the quality.
Nevertheless, the best sleep habits are consistent, healthy routines that allow all of us, regardless of our age, to meet our sleep needs every night, and keep on top of life’s challenges every day.
Are you struggling to sleep or you are dealing with any sleep-related issues? You could consult a Therapist or a Counselor, as this would help you find out the reasons behind it and together, you can file out a solution that would facilitate the resuscitation of a reliable sleeping routine.