Sleep deprivation is a serious health problem. Studies indicate that about one in five people across the world are not getting a good night’s sleep, and that very few of them manage to get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night.
Medical experts say that when the body is unable to get the required amount of rest, it starts developing a host of health problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, obesity, mental health issues and weaker sex drive. In the United States, insufficient sleep results in about 7 per cent of all motor vehicle accidents (or around 330,000 accidents) and 16 per cent of fatal crashes annually.
Health experts have always maintained that a balanced diet, regular exercise and good sleep are the three most critical constituents of good health. To ensure that you wake up well rested, no matter how demanding your schedule is, here are a few lifestyle habits that you could take up:
- Always maintain a strict sleep schedule.
It requires much discipline, but one needs to train the body to develop an “internal clock” that is prepared to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day. It may be even tempting to take a quick nap after a heavy lunch, but if you want to fix your sleep rhythm at night quickly, you should try to stay away from such afternoon siestas.
- Limit use of stimulants
Cut down on all kind of caffeine and sugar close to dinner time. As mentioned earlier, the body needs to be trained to sleep. Coffee, nicotine, alcohol, tea, sugar etc are stimulants and interfere with the natural sleep clock. It is best to avoid these stimulants about four to six hours before dinner.
- Build a good slumber corner
It would be helpful for you to create a sleep-inducing bedroom that is dark, cool and quiet. It is essential that you cultivate good sleep hygiene habits for excellent health. Invest in a good mattress, pillows and quality bed linen. You are going to spend ideally 1/3rd of your day in that bed, so make sure it is of good quality. Along the same lines, keep gadgets away from the bedroom as their signals also tend to interfere with our rest.
- Increase outdoor time
Other than getting to breathe more oxygen, spending at least 30 minutes outdoors actively can significantly improve sleep patterns and assists the body in secreting melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, in the evening. Studies point out that doing exercise in the morning is so powerful that it can transform a night owl into a morning person.
- Watch the evening diet
To fall asleep quickly, you want to make sure that the body is also moving towards rest time. Eating just before dinner is a sure-shot way of developing insomnia. Instead of a cheese pizza at 10:00 PM, make your dinner light and nutritious one with easy-to-digest ingredients. That way, you will be eating healthy and not disturbing the sleep clock either.