The Importance of Sleep and How to Sleep Well

The Importance of Sleep and How to Sleep Well

Once you become an adult, it’s hard to get a stable sleeping routine. Maybe you have children disturbing your sleep, maybe you have some extra work to finish, or maybe you just want to binge more on your favourite box set. Either way, the end result is most definitely the same. 

You go to bed late and you wake up early to start your day, but you just feel like you’ve been hit by a bus. You’re super tired, your body feels heavy, your muscles feel stiff, your head hurts, and you’re in a terrible mood. This is one of the results of not getting enough sleep or not sleeping well enough. Sounds familiar? 

If you’re sick of feeling like this and you’re ready for a radical change, then read on and find out how you can get a good night’s sleep every single night:

 

The Science Behind Sleeping

By now everybody knows that sleeping is important, but why is that? What happens to our bodies while we’re sleeping? And what happens to our bodies when we don’t get enough sleep?

When talking about sleep, we first have to know that there are two types of sleep that your brain will cycle through: 

  1. REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep 
  2. non-REM sleep

Our sleep begins with a non-REM cycle, which has four stages. The first stage is when you haven’t fallen asleep, but you’re not quite awake either. In the second stage, you fall into a light sleep. This is where your temperature drops and your heart rate and breathing become regulated. In the third stage you fall into a deep sleep and this lasts throughout the fourth stage as well. 

After the four stages of the non-REM cycle have been completed, the REM cycle begins. Your eyes start to move rapidly behind your lids and your body will temporarily enter into a state of paralysis. The brain’s activity increases as we start dreaming. 

A few consequences of not getting enough sleep are the following: 

  • lagged movement of the body
  • difficulty in learning new things and concentrating
  • mood swings
  • impulsive behaviour
  • anxiety and depression 
  • increased risk of diabetes and heart disease
  • weakened immune system 

Of course, these are just a few of the many consequences of sleep deprivation, but on the whole, sleep deprivation affects your central nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system, endocrine system, and cardiovascular system. Your whole body will suffer if it doesn’t get enough rest. 

This is why getting enough sleep and sleeping well is important. But let me tell you how you can achieve that. 

 

How To Sleep Well

Now that you know how sleeping works, let’s see how you can properly rest when sleeping. According to the specialists, there are two main factors that regulate our sleep:

  • circadian rhythms 
  • sleep drive

Circadian rhythms are linked with our biological clocks and regulate our sleep-wake cycle. This means that they influence our bodies’ secretion of melatonin, which is a hormone we need to sleep. Basically, every time our body senses a lack of light, it will release certain quantities of melatonin, which will make us sleepy. 

Sleep drive can be compared with hunger. Your body needs sleep just as much as it needs food. So, when you’re feeling well-rested, you won’t feel the need to sleep, but when you haven’t rested in a while, your body will crave sleep to the point in which it will forcefully put itself to sleep. This process is called microsleeping. 

Now luckily, most of us don’t suffer from any medical condition that might cause insomnia, so that means that we can obtain good sleep by just changing a few habits. Here are some things that you can try out:

 

1. Make a Sleeping Schedule and Stick to it  

Now, we talked about non-REM and REM sleeping cycles. The whole five stages of non-REM combined with REM sleeping form one cycle, which lasts for about 90 minutes. Usually, a person needs to sleep through 5-6 full sleep cycles, but of course, not everybody is the same. 

Some people need more sleep and others need less, which is why you should experiment with the number of sleep cycles. It’s important to complete the cycle before waking up because if you do not, you might end up feeling tired. Try focusing on the time you go to bed to enable enough time to complete the sleep cycles so you wake up without an alarm to aid you.

Once you know how many sleeping cycles you need, you can create a schedule and respect it. 

 

2. Create the Perfect Environment 

We now know that light affects your circadian rhythms, so that means that before you fall asleep, you need to dim the lights in your bedroom or close them off completely. 

The best practice would be to stay off any electronic device before you go to bed, but if you do need to scroll through your feed one last time before bed, then take advantage of the night time options your phone has or look into glasses that block blue light. 

Also, make sure that you don’t study or work in your bed. If your brain starts associating your bed with something else, like work, then you will have a harder time falling asleep. Instead, before going to sleep use this time for positive affirmation, write down three things you appreciate or positive experiences from your day.

 

3. Create Better Eating Habits and Exercise

It’s not surprising that a better diet and exercising promote better sleep. Daily physical activities can increase your sleep drive. Also, try spending as much time outside as possible during the day.

A good diet is also very important. Make sure you don’t eat anything right before going to bed. Instead, try eating a few hours earlier and avoid heavy foods, as these can make you feel bloated and stuffed. This will essentially make it harder for you to fall asleep. Be very careful with your intake of nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol.  Next weeks Blog will talk about the impact of caffeine on your day.

 

Bottom Line 

Sleeping well is important for our health, but not everybody can follow these tips. Or maybe this advice doesn’t work for you. This is when you need to look for professional help. I can help with hypnoses sessions to anchor you into better sleep routines and bespoke recorded audio sessions to help you sleep.

If you have trouble sleeping well then let me help you. I can offer you the support you need to live a healthier and better life. You just need to make the step and reach out.