Even as this break has shown that it will continue to drag on for – at least a couple of months, I will now be exposing a very important aspect of our lives which, most times, seems so inconspicuous. Sleep has its advantages; and like most, its excess can prove to be disastrous. The more reason why it is important to find that balance between too little and too much. This article has put together some research to examine some of the pros (and cons) of sleep, and how you make sure you utilize it to your advantage.
Dangers of Insufficient Sleep…
Have you ever experienced a point in your life where your eyes were literally begging you to sleep? Well, I have – and guess what? I’ve been continually ignoring it for some days now. Needless to say, I’ve not been getting a lot of sleep and it has been affecting my productivity, my mood – to mention a few. I mean, I had to learn the hard way why sleeping healthy is so important.
Apart from the obvious signs you’ve probably noticed: heavy eyelids/reddening eyeballs, excessive yawning and tiredness, meagre sleep has more consequences than you realise. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can contribute to excess body fat and lead to obesity.
There is a fat chance that those who sleep less than seven hours can have a higher body mass index that can lead to obesity. Apart from this, sleep disorders have been recognised by international health bodies, like the CDC, as health factors that can increase the risk of depression, heart attacks, and diabetes – to say the least.
However, sleep disorders, or inability to sleep may not be necessarily a medical condition. It could be as a result of poor sleep hygiene. Yes! You heard that right – which brings me to my next point: What habits contribute to making you sleep so late? And more importantly, how do you create an atmosphere that allows to sleep soundly and healthy?
Sleep Healthy! Sleep Soundly!
There are various habits that may not allow you to sleep healthy, most of them you already know: Eating very close to bedtime, using any kind of digital technology (laptops, phones, and the rest) in bed and exercising close to bedtime. Also, it has been found out that the temperature of a room will likely determine if you will have a good sleep or not. It is advisable not to sleep in rooms with warm, or hot temperatures as this can prove frustrating and is really not good for your health.
And as for creating an atmosphere that allows for good, healthy sleep: I will be providing some basic tips. These guidelines are self-explanatory and simple to follow, so I will not be making a list. I would also like to add that they have been thoroughly researched and are proven to be true. To start with, it is important that you set the mood for your bedtime – this may include having a nice, warm bath, listening to music that cools your nerves and not overthinking before you go to sleep.
If you find it difficult to sleep after about 20 minutes, get out of bed and read a book (Note that I didn’t say watch film!). Apart from being a productive venture, reading a book you’re not readily interested in will have you dozing off sooner than you expect.
Furthermore, good sleep hygiene will require you to plan for the next day and organise your thoughts earlier in the evening. You wouldn’t want to start thinking “deep” before you go to bed, trust me. In addition, you can also close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing – this will help transition you into a relaxed and more restful sleep.
In conclusion, don’t have an excuse for sleeping too much; doctors recommend an average of 7-8 hours’ sleep – take any more and you will be inviting trouble (the research is there to prove it). Ultimately, know what works for you and your body. If you’re the night crawler, ensure you make up for lost sleep during the day (not naps, please). When next your eyes scream their heaviness, please indulge yourself (sleep!) and above all, see a good night’s sleep as an opportunity to invest in tomorrow’s productivity and potential.
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