Enjoy a good night’s sleep
If you are getting sufficient sleep every day you are very lucky. Lack of good amount of sleep is definitely not good. Sleep plays a fundamental role in good health and well-being throughout our life. Getting sufficient sleep at the right times protects our mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. A good night’s sleep helps us to get ready to take on the world.
The way we feel while we are awake depends on how much sleep we had. Because, during sleep, our body works to support healthy brain function and maintains our physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development. There are similarity between sleep deprivation and being drunk; it not only creates confusion but also inability to focus on activities. Sometimes it leads to cravings for junk food and carbonated drinks too. And, lack of sleep can in fact weaken our cognitive functions badly. The body and brain of sleep deprived person literally behaves like drunken person.
Many studies have shown that a large proportion of travel accidents around the world are related to not enough of sleep. Recent surveys have linked driver fatigue to 16% to 20% of serious highway accidents in the India, UK, Australia, and Brazil. Fatigue is a result of sleep disorders due to excessive workload and lack of physical and mental rest. These are major contributors to motor vehicle accidents. A number of behavioral, physiological, and psychometric tests are being used increasingly to evaluate the impact of fatigue on driver performance. The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in a second such as a car crash. Most accidents take place because of driver’s sleep deficiency.
A lot of research has been carried on to great lengths to understand benefits of sleep in both humans and animals. It is found that sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions.
Healthy brain function and emotional comfort: Sleep helps our brain work properly. While we are in deep sleep, our brain is preparing for the next day. It’s forming new pathways to help us learn and remember information. Studies show that a good night’s sleep improves our learning patterns. It can be anything from learning car driving, music to math sleep helps enhance our learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps us to pay attention, make decisions, and be creative.
Research has proved that sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of the brain. If we are not sleeping sufficient, it hampers our decision making, solving problems, controlling our emotions and behavior, and coping with changes.
Physical Health: Sleep is involved in healing and repair of heart and blood vessels. Constant sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Sleep deficiency also increases the risk of obesity. Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make us feel hungry. Sleep also supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults. Sleep also plays a role in puberty and fertility. Our immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy.
Our overall performance: Getting enough quality sleep at the right times helps our function well throughout the day. People who are sleep deficient are less productive at work and school. They take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes. Even a loss of just 1–2 hours per night weakens our ability to function properly. Lack of sleep also may lead to micro sleep. What does micros sleep mean? It refers to brief moments of sleep that occur when we are normally awake. For example we have heard lot of plane crashes due to pilot’s fatigue due to lack of sufficient sleep.
Some people aren’t aware of the risks of sleep deficiency. In fact, they may not even realize that they are sleep deficient. Even with limited or poor-quality sleep, they may still think that they can function well. Please remember sleep deficiency is not only harmful on a personal level, but it also can cause large-scale damage. For example, sleep deficiency has played a role in human errors linked to tragic accidents, such as nuclear reactor meltdowns, grounding of large ships, and aviation accidents.
Most adults require approximately 8 hours of sleep per 24 hours, but there can be substantial differences among individuals. Sleep needs may range from about six to nine hours. Sleep is such a familiar part of our daily life that we may take it for granted. However, like many essential physiological functions, sleep too is a physiological function.
For maintaining a regular sleep-wake schedule:
Use comfortable sleeping mattresses: We spend about a third of every day in bed. A good mattress helps in quality sleep. A not so good mattress can spoil our sleep making the sleeping posture uncomfortable. When searching for the best mattress, it is important to remember that mattresses are largely a matter of personal preference. There is no single type of mattress or bed that works well for all people, the choice depends on lots of parameters such as material used in the mattress e.g coir, foam, spring, the size, shape, color etc. Another fact is, there is no single sleep position known to be best for all people. The right mattress can really help one have a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling rested and refreshed. One such famous brand is Kurlon mattresses. It is made from the best materials and uses the newest technology. It is the leader in in the industry. A lot of research goes in styling and creating the product. Another good brand is Sleepwell which also uses of the very best and latest in global technology and creating products as per the demands of the consumers.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep.
- Our bedroom must possess a comfortable sleep environment. Cleanliness, curtains, good décor matters.
- We must establish a calming pre-sleep routine such as listening to soft music, reading a book, watching a comic serial etc.
- It is better to go off to sleep when we are truly tired, without watching the clock at night.
- It is advisable to use limiting light exposure in the evening.
- Eating and drinking enough; but not too much or too soon before bedtime
Exercising regularly helps in getting sufficient sleep.