Sleep is an essential function, it can recharge your mind and body so that you wake up refreshed and alert. Healthy sleep also helps the body stay healthy and avoid illness. Without enough sleep, the human brain cannot function properly. This will affect your ability to concentrate, think clearly, and process memory. Because of all of these you should know “How to get enough sleep at night”?
Most adults need to sleep 7-9 hours at night. Children and adolescents need more sleep, especially children under five. Work schedules, daily stressors, disturbing bedroom environments, and medical conditions can prevent us from getting enough sleep. A healthy diet and active lifestyle can help ensure adequate sleep every night, but for some people, chronic sleep deprivation may be the first sign of sleep disorders.
In recent decades, the quality and quantity of sleep have been declining. In fact, many people often sleep poorly. If you want to optimize your health or lose weight, you should know “how to get enough sleep at night” which is one of the most important things.
What is the science of sleep called?
An internal “biological clock” regulates your sleep cycle, controlling when you feel tired and ready to sleep or refreshed and alert. This clock runs on a 24-hour cycle and is called the circadian rhythm.
After waking up from sleep, you will feel more and more tired during the day. These feelings reach their peak before going to bed at night. This sleep drive, also known as sleep-wake homeostasis, may be related to adenosine, an organic compound produced in the brain.
When you feel more tired, adenosine levels will rise throughout the day, and then the body will break down this compound during sleep. Light also affects the circadian rhythm.
The brain contains a special nerve cell area called the hypothalamus and a group of hypothalamic cells called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. When the eye is exposed to natural or artificial light, it processes signals. These signals initiate the brain to determine whether it is day or night.
As natural light weakens at night, the body releases melatonin, a hormone that causes sleepiness. When the sun rises in the morning, the body releases the hormone cortisol, which promotes energy and alertness.
Reasons why sleep is important?
Getting enough sleep is essential to help a person maintain optimal health and well-being. As far as your health is concerned, sleep is as important as regular exercise and a balanced diet.
Modern life in the United States and many other countries do not always accept the need for adequate sleep. However, it is important that people strive to get enough sleep at night on a regular basis.
The following are some of the many benefits associated with a good night’s rest for healthcare professionals.
Improved physical health
When you sleep, your body needs time to rest, recover and rebuild so that it can perform its best the next day. By healing damaged cells, boosting the immune system, and recharging the cardiovascular system, your body will get reset it needs to wake you up feeling energetic and alert to daily activities.
Proper Weight Maintenance
Good sleep is essential to maintain adequate weight because lack of sleep can change the daily fluctuations of appetite hormones. Therefore, when you don’t get enough sleep at night, your appetite will be bigger and your calorie intake will be more.
Lack of sleep is closely related to weight gain. In fact, it is one of the most important risk factors for obesity. Whether you want to lose weight or just want to maintain your current weight, quality sleep is absolutely vital!
Improved productivity and concentration
Scientists conducted several studies in the early 2000s to study the effects of sleep deprivation. The researchers concluded that sleep is related to various brain functions, including attention, productivity, and cognitive ability. This is the latest study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry in 2015, “Children’s sleep patterns can directly affect their behavior and academic performance.”
Boosted emotional well being
If you feel grumpy due to lack of sleep or suffering from sleep disorders, it is difficult to start the day with a positive attitude. Insufficient sleep can make it difficult for you to regulate your emotions, which can make you feel bad overall and may cast a shadow over all your daily activities.
Your mental health is as important as your physical health, so you must take care of your emotional health as carefully as you take care of your body. According to a study by Harvard Medical School, taking the necessary measures to ensure adequate and stable sleep will lead to better mood and healthier emotional health.
Better calorie regulation
Similar to weight gain, there is evidence that a good night’s sleep can help a person consume fewer calories during the day. For example, a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that sleep patterns affect the hormones responsible for appetite. When a person lacks sleep, it interferes with their body’s ability to properly regulate food intake.
Lower risk of heart disease
One of the risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure (HBP). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting enough rest every night allows the body’s blood pressure to self-regulate, thereby reducing the chance of sleep-related problems (such as apnea) and promoting overall heart health.
The link between sleep and mental health has long been the subject of research. One conclusion is that there is a link between insufficient sleep and depression. A study published in JAMA Psychiatry investigated suicide death patterns over the past 10 years. It concluded that lack of sleep is a factor in many such deaths. Another study in the Journal of Psychiatry from Australia and New Zealand showed that people with sleep disorders such as insomnia may show signs of depression.
Boosts the immune system
Sleep at least 8 hours a night, you can boost your immune function and help fight the common cold. Studies have shown that even a slight lack of sleep can reduce your immune function. In fact, it has been found that people who sleep less than 7 hours a night are almost three times more likely to catch a cold than people who sleep 8 hours or more.
Poor night sleep can have a major impact on inflammation in your body because lack of sleep can trigger bad signs of inflammation and cell damage. If you often do not sleep well, the digestive tract may become chronically inflamed. This may lead to inflammatory bowel disease and may increase the risk of disease recurrence.
Maximize athletic performance
Sleep has been proven to improve athletic performance; in a study of basketball players, longer sleep was proven to significantly improve speed, accuracy, reaction time, and mental health. In older women, a study of more than 2,800 women found that lack of sleep is related to slower walking speed, lower grip strength, and difficulty in independent activities.
More social and emotional intelligence
Sleep is related to people’s emotions and social intelligence. People who don’t get enough sleep at night are more likely to have difficulty recognizing the emotions and expressions of others.
For example, a study in the Journal of Sleep Research which is looked at people’s responses to emotional stimuli. The researchers concluded that similar to many previous studies when a person lacks sleep, their emotional empathy decreases.
How much sleep do we need?
How much sleep do we really need? To know about this, let us consider an experiment conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Washington State University.
The researchers started the experiment by collecting 48 healthy men and women who slept an average of seven to eight hours a night. Then they divided these themes into four groups. The first group had to stay up and down for 3 consecutive days. The second group slept for 4 hours every night. Every night the third group slept for 6 hours. Every night the fourth group slept for 8 hours. In the last three groups, 4, 6, and 8 hours of sleep, the subjects maintained these sleep patterns for two consecutive weeks.
Throughout the experiment, the physical and mental performance of the subjects were evaluated.
Here’s the thing…
In the 14-day study, subjects who were allowed to sleep for 8 hours did not show a cognitive decline, decreased concentration, or decreased motor skills.
At the same time, the sleep duration of 4 hours and 6 hours of the group decreased steadily every day. The four-hour group performed worse, but the six-hour group was not much better. In particular, there are two notable findings:
First, sleep debt is a cumulative problem. In the words of the researchers, sleep debt “has a neurobiological cost that accumulates over time.” A week later, 25% of people in the 6-hour group fell asleep at random times of the day.
Two weeks later, the performance deficit in the 6-hour group was the same as if they stayed up late for two consecutive days. Let me say it again: if you sleep 6 hours a night for two consecutive weeks, your mental and physical performance will drop to the same level as if you didn’t sleep for 48 hours.
Second, the participants did not notice their performance. When participants rate themselves, they think their performance will drop for a few days and then drop. In fact, they are getting worse every day. In other words, we have poor judgments about the decline in our own performance, even if we are experiencing them.
The proper amount of sleep depends largely on your age. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following daily sleep allowances for different age groups.
|Age group||Age range||The recommended amount of sleep per day|
|Newborn||0-3 months||14-17 hours|
|Infant||4-11 months||12-15 hours|
|Toddler||1-2 years||11-14 hours|
|Preschool||3-5 years||10-13 hours|
|School-age||6-13 years||9-11 hours|
|Teen||14-17 years||8-10 hours|
|Young Adult||18-25 years||7-9 hours|
|Adult||26-64 years||7-9 hours|
|Older Adult||65 years or older||7-8 hours|
Think about all the factors that affect a good night’s sleep, from work pressure and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges such as illness. No wonder high-quality sleep is sometimes elusive.
Although you may not be able to control the factors that interfere with sleep, you can develop habits that promote better and enough sleep at night. Let’s go for our main questions answer “how to get enough sleep at night”?
Stick to a sleep schedule
Do not allow more than eight hours of sleep time. The recommended sleep time for healthy adults is at least seven hours. Most people only need to stay in bed for less than eight hours to achieve this goal.
Always try to Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day which is very important for you. And Try to limit the difference in sleep time between week and weekend to less than one hour.
Being consistent will strengthen your body’s sleep-wake cycle. If you do not fall asleep in about 20 minutes, please leave the room and do something relaxing. Read or listen to relaxing music. Go back to sleep when you are tired. Repeat as needed.
Increase bright light exposure during the day
Your body has a natural clock called the circadian rhythm, which affects your brain, body, and hormones to help you stay awake and tell your body when to sleep.
This can improve energy during the day, as well as the quality and duration of sleep at night. For patients with insomnia, exposure to bright light during the day will improve the quality and duration of sleep. It also reduced the time required to fall asleep by 83%.
A similar study for the elderly found that exposure to strong light for 2 hours during the day can increase sleep time by 2 hours and increase sleep efficiency by 80%.
For people with serious sleep problems, even if you are an ordinary sleeper, daily exposure to light may help. Every day try to expose yourself to the sun. If this is not practical, invest in bright artificial lamps or light bulbs.
Pay attention to your drinking and eating habit
Don’t go to bed hungry. In particular, avoid heavy or large meals within a few hours before going to bed. Your discomfort will keep you awake. Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol also deserve caution.
The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take several hours to subside and can cause serious damage to your sleep quality. Although alcohol can make you drowsy, it can disrupt your sleep at night.
Don’t consume caffeine late in the day
Caffeine has many benefits. 90% of the American population is consuming caffeine. A single dose can improve concentration, energy, and athletic performance; however, drinking caffeine at the end of the day stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night.
In one study, caffeine intake 6 hours before bedtime significantly reduced sleep quality. Caffeine can remain in the blood for 6 to 8 hours.
Therefore, drink plenty of coffee after 3 pm or 4 pm which is not recommended, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine or have trouble sleeping. If you want a cup of coffee in the late afternoon or evening, stick to decaffeinated coffee.
Reduce blue lite exposure in the evening
Exposure to light during the day is beneficial, but exposure to light at night will have the opposite effect.
Again, this is due to its influence on the circadian rhythm (Physical, mental and behavioral changes), tricking your brain into thinking that it is still daytime.
This will reduce hormones such as melatonin and help you relax and sleep well. In this regard, the blue light emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones and computers is the worst.
Reduce long daytime naps
Although short and intense naps are beneficial, long or irregular naps during the day can negatively affect your sleep. Sleeping during the day disrupts your biological clock, which means you may have difficulty falling asleep at night.
In fact, in one study, participants were sleepier during the day after taking a nap during the day.
Another study pointed out that although a nap of 30 minutes or less can improve brain function during the day, too long a nap can harm your brain. Health and sleep quality.
However, some studies have shown that people who are accustomed to taking regular naps during the day do not experience poor sleep quality or sleep interruptions at night.
If you take regular naps during the day and sleep well, you don’t need to worry. Actually, the effect of a nap varies from person to person.
Drinking a few glasses of wine at night can have a negative effect on sleep and hormones. It is well known that alcohol can cause or increase symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring, and sleep disorders.
It also changes the production of melatonin during sleep. At night, this is a key role in the circadian rhythm.
Another study found that drinking at night reduces the natural nocturnal elevation of human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a role in the circadian rhythm and has many other key functions.
Take melatonin supplement
Melatonin is a key sleep hormone that tells your brain when to relax and lie down. Melatonin supplements are a very popular sleep aid. Usually used to treat insomnia, melatonin may be one of the easiest ways to fall asleep the fastest.
In the study, taking 2 mg of melatonin before going to bed can improve the quality of sleep and energy the next day, and help people fall asleep faster. In another study, half of the people slept faster and their sleep quality improved by 15%.
In addition, there is no withdrawal effect. It has been reported in any previous research. Melatonin is also helpful when traveling and adapting to a new time zone because it can help your body’s circadian rhythm return to normal. In some countries, melatonin requires a prescription.
In other cases, melatonin can be found everywhere in stores or online. Take about 1 to 5 mg 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed. Start with a low dose to assess your tolerability, then slowly increase as needed.
Since melatonin changes the chemical composition of the brain, it is recommended that you consult a healthcare provider before use. If you are considering using melatonin as a sleep aid for your child, you should also talk to them, as long-term use of this supplement in children has not been studied in depth.
Buy melatonin supplements online.
Set your bedroom temperature
The temperature of the bedroom will have a significant impact on the quality of sleep. A survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that cool room temperature is one of the most important factors for getting good sleep, and as many as four-fifths of the respondents said it is important to them.
The best room temperature for sleeping is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). The temperature may vary from person to person, but most doctors recommend keeping the thermostat between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius) for a more comfortable sleep.
Our body is programmed to experience a slight drop in the core. Lowering the thermostat at night helps to regulate the temperature and sends a signal to your body that it is time to sleep.
Optimize bedroom environment
This may seem irrelevant, but you should not underestimate the importance of the sleeping environment in your bedroom. It may be the only thing that helps you move quickly to rest, or it may be the thing that keeps you tossing and turning all night during an episode of insomnia.
Consider 5 ways to optimize sleep in a bedroom, including factors such as noise, lighting, temperature, and mattress selection. Many studies have shown that external noise usually from traffic can cause long-term sleep problems and health problems.
In a study of women’s bedroom environment, about 50% of participants noticed that when noise and light are reduced, the quality of sleep is better.
In your bedroom environment, minimize external noise, light, and artificial light from devices such as alarm clocks. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean, and pleasant place.
Exercise is one of the best scientific support methods to improve sleep and health. It can improve all aspects of sleep and has been used to relieve symptoms of insomnia.
A study of the elderly found that exercise almost cuts the time spent by them in half. Go to sleep and get 41 more minutes of sleep at night. For people with severe insomnia, exercise provides more benefits than most drugs.
Exercise reduced the time to fall asleep by 55%, reduced total awake time at night by 30%, reduced anxiety by 15%, and increased total sleep time by 18%.
The National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association recommend that healthy adults exercise at least 150 minutes a week—that is, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Studies have shown that over time, continuous, regular exercise may bring some of the most important benefits to sleep, especially for people who have difficulty sleeping. You may be surprised to hear this news, but too much exercise can cause sleep difficulties.
Many people don’t think much about it, but overtraining is a common problem that can cause sleep problems. In fact, according to research, the first symptoms of overtraining are insomnia and difficulty sleeping.
Take bath every day
Bathing or showering regularly is another popular way to get better sleep. Studies have shown that they can help improve overall sleep quality and help people, especially the elderly, fall asleep faster.
In one study, taking a hot bath 90 minutes before going to bed can improve sleep quality and help people sleep more soundly. Or, if you don’t want to take a full bath at night, just soak your feet in hot water can help you relax and improve sleep.
Use comfortable bed, matters, and pillow
Studies have shown that sleeping on a medium-hard mattress, especially an adjustable-hard mattress can improve comfort, correct spinal alignment, and quality sleep.
If you are worried about body pain, research also shows that the surface on which you sleep affects your comfort. According to a small study in 2015, people who sleep on a moderately firm memory foam mattress have less pain and fall asleep faster.
Other research and reliable sources indicate that compared with memory foam, latex foam exerts less maximum pressure on the body. This means it can better resist the “sagging” sensation usually associated with memory foam.
This can help sleepers maintain a comfortable temperature and sleeping posture. More generally, the mattress should support the healthy curvature of your spine, should not bring you too much heat, and should meet your budget and other needs.
The best mattresses and bedding are very subjective. If you are improving your bedding, please choose according to your personal preferences. It is recommended that you update your bedding at least every 5 to 8 years.
If you haven’t changed your mattress or bedding for several years, this may be quick—though it may be expensive—to repair.
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