5 Things You Need To Know About Sleep
Sleep is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Being able to forget the world, your problems and woes, and just letting your body relax for a bit…
That is, assuming you are able to get a good night’s sleep. Because those nightmares, restless nights and troubles falling asleep in the first place can really wreck your rest.
Turns out, sleeping is a fickle thing, and getting good rest takes some practice. In order to increase your chances of success, you’ll need to know five crucial things:
#1 It Should Take You 10 - 15 Minutes to Fall Asleep
It shouldn’t take you more or less, otherwise it’s a bad sign. If it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep, then you’re sleep deprived. And that means you’re pushing your body to function, when it’s extremely tired, and then failing to fully recharge your batteries at night.
If it takes you longer than 15 minutes, it means you’re too energetic. You would need to do something that makes you tired, but don’t exercise before bed. More on that later.
What if it takes you less than ten, but more than five? It means you’re overtired and need to be going to bed earlier.
#2 There’s Truth In “It’s Too Hot In Here”
Have you ever gone to bed, only to lie there unable to fall asleep? Maybe you toss and turn, take off the covers, then eventually shiver and pull them back on? Well, it turns out that fluctuations in temperature at night could be keeping you up.
Our bodies need to be able to cool down in order for us to fall asleep. So if the bedroom is too warm, we can’t fall asleep.
And if it’s just comfortable enough and we fall asleep only to eventually get too warm under the covers? That’s why you woke up in the middle of the night.
#3 Exercise Is Your Friend, Of Course
Exercise is the most underrated problem solver ever. Perhaps it’s because most people simply don’t like the idea of having to exercise. But, boy, does it help. Not only is it a great way to both get and stay in shape, it’s a great way to improve your sleep.
Exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep, and contributes to sounder sleep. It wears you out, so when bedtime rolls around, you’re more than ready.
And, of course, because you get a good night’s sleep, you wake up refreshed, and looking better. And thinner!
#4 The Body Never Adjusts to Those Overnighters
Shift work, also known as pulling a graveyard shift, is terrible on the body. Even if you convince yourself that everything is fine…
Everything is not fine.
In fact, your body’s rhythm is biologically programmed to stay awake during the day, and go to sleep at night. Going against that doesn’t ever regulate it, it just puts more stress on you. So prepare to never feel fully rested, and prepare to never get really good, deep sleep.
And yes, it will definitely affect your mood and ability to process information during your waking life.
#5 Not Sleeping Enough Makes You Hungry
People who don’t get enough sleep are likely to have bigger appetites. Why? Because their leptin (an appetite-regulating hormone) levels fall dramatically.
And that promotes an increase in appetite, so that box of donuts sitting on the counter suddenly becomes extraordinarily tempting.
The best thing to do, ideally, is to get better sleep. Doing so will regulate your leptin levels and hunger. It even helps regulate your immune system.
But if you can’t, due to work, for instance, it’s best to start eating healthier, and in moderation, to help combat the hunger.