Stress can take a toll on your life. It can affect your quality of sleep tremendously. It’s no surprise that the amount of sleep one gets plays an important role in determining their health. Stress can affect your body in a way that it can get difficult for you to relax after a hard day’s work and get a good sleep. You may have a problem in falling asleep. Even if you fall asleep, you may not get sound sleep. Thus, having a healthy sleep routine is important for both adults and children to keep their physical and mental health in check. It not only improves one’s productivity but also betters the quality of life. Before you find out how to sleep well at night, first, understand the common sleeping disorders that one may get because of irregular sleeping pattern.
The Most Common Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders can prevent a person from getting restful sleep and thus can affect your overall health leaving you tired and exhausted all day long. Here are the four most common sleeping disorders that affect people.
1. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted while sleeping. If sleep apnea is left untreated, it can cause heart diseases, diabetes, and other health-related problems.
Hypersomnia is a condition where a person finds it difficult to stay awake during the day. A person with this condition may feel excessively sleepy during the day. It is one of the biggest reasons for excessive tiredness but can be treated by adjusting the sleep schedule and avoiding alcohol.
In this condition, a person finds it difficult to stay awake through the day even after getting a good night’s sleep. It is caused by the lack of a chemical called hypocretin in the brain. Narcolepsy cannot be cured but medication can lessen the effects.
4. Restless Leg Syndrome
It is characterized by a constant need to move one’s legs while resting. This disorder may affect the quality of your sleep. You make wake up frequently and ultimately it may affect your health.
Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
While most of us suffer from sleep disorders, it is easy to switch to a healthier lifestyle and try and adjust one’s sleep cycle. All age groups can better their sleep whenever they put their mind to it. Some easy steps that you can try to get a good night’s sleep are mentioned below.
1. Stick to a Schedule
Try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day. This will help in adjusting your body’s internal clock. Your brain will adjust to this schedule and thus you will get proper sleep daily.
2. Take a Nap
Take a nap but keep it limited to 15-20 minutes. Don’t take a nap after 3 pm otherwise you may have trouble falling asleep at night. Also, sudden and unlimited naps can result in loss of sleep. So set a time for napping and wake up in 20 minutes.
3. Say No to Electronics
Give away the habit of using mobile phones or watching TV at least 1-2 hours before going to bed. The blue light emitted by mobile phones and other gadgets can suppress the production of melatonin hormone in your body which regulates your body’s sleep cycles, thus messing your quality of sleep. So, before going to bed, don’t use your phones.
4. Try Auditory Methods
Try listening to soothing music or audio books before going to bed. This may help your body relax and prepare you to sleep. Music is very relaxing and can help you sleep faster. So put on some light music and unwind.
5. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Coffee, tea, cola drinks, etc. containing caffeine can affect your sleep pattern. Nicotine can also keep you wide awake at night. So, limit your caffeine and nicotine intake; it will be a blessing if you’re trying to improve your sleep cycle.
6. Eat Early
Having light dinner early also helps in relaxing the body. If you eat rich and oily food at dinner, it can keep you awake at night. So, it is suggested that you eat healthy and light food before going to bed and keep oily and gravy-rich food for the morning hours. If you go to bed at 10 in the night, try to have dinner by 7:30 pm or maximum by 8:00 pm.
Regular exercise can help you sleep better. Even if you cannot do a rigorous workout, light exercise, like walking, can also make a huge difference. Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, you will notice an improvement in your sleeping pattern.
8. Take a Bath
Taking a shower before bedtime can improve your sleep quality too. If you don’t want to take a bath, you can soak your feet in warm water before going to bed, it can help you sleep through the night.
Meditation is also seen as an effective tool for fighting insomnia. Meditate for 5 minutes before going to bed to get rid of all the troubles that keep you wide awake at night and sleep well.
Sleeping in absolute darkness can help you fall asleep much faster. Reducing the use of lights altogether during the night is a very effective way to maintain your body clock.
11. Invest in Bedding
Getting a good mattress and pillow is also very important to sleep for long. Remember, if you sleep peacefully, you wake up calmly too.
12. Take Note of Your Mental State
Instead of going to bed worried or angry, make it a habit to clear your mind and think about positive things that make you happy.
13. Drink a Glass of Warm Milk
Drinking a glass of warm milk can help you sleep better. Do not drink alcohol before going to bed, if you want something to drink, try warm milk.
14. Expose Yourself to Natural Light
Expose yourself to bright natural light in the morning. This can increase your sleep duration.
15. Plan B
Staying in your bed awake won’t help. If you are not able to fall asleep within 30 minutes, read something or try breathing exercises. This will help you sleep much faster.
Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to sleeping disorders, people have a huge number of questions be it for themselves or for their children. Here we have answered some of the common questions related to sleep.
1. How Many Hours of Sleep is Recommended for Kids and Adults?
By now you must be aware that making sleep a priority is very important to have a healthy life. But, very few of us actually make the required hours of sleep a priority. According to the National Sleep Foundation, every individual of different age group has different sleep requirements. Missing out on 30 or 60 minutes of sleep can make a huge difference. Thus, it is very important to know exactly how much sleep one requires. Their study tells us how much sleep people of different age group need:
- Newborns (0-3 months ): 14-17 hours every day
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours every day
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours every day
- Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours every day
- School-aged children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours every day
- Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours every day
- Younger adults (18-25 years): 7-9 hours every day
- Adults (26-64 years): 7-9 hours every day
- Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours every day
2. What Will Happen If We Don’t Get Proper Sleep?
Lack of sleep can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, mental illnesses, and even heart diseases. Hence, it is important to have a sleep schedule right from an early age. Today, many children face difficulty in sleeping. As they grow up, their sleep gets affected due to various reasons like stress at school, over-using electronic devices etc. Therefore, the best way to make sure they don’t lose out on their sleep from an early age is to get them accustomed to a sleeping schedule.
3. Is Oversleeping Bad for My Health?
This is also a frequently asked question by many. While it is known to many that sleeping less can cause problems, sleeping more can also create many problems. There are people who suffer from hypersomnia. The condition can make people experience extreme sleepiness. Oversleeping can lead to the following problems mentioned below:
- Heart diseases
4. What Is the Difference Between Light and Deep Sleep?
Deep sleep is basically the stage which comes anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes of falling asleep. It is during this stage that the body heals itself, thus making it important. Deep sleep usually lasts for 1-2 hours, and no dreams occur during this stage.
Light sleep is the stage when you are asleep but can wake up easily. It is something that the body experiences for more than half of the night. This stage is where the body’s metabolism regulates itself and processes memories and emotions.
Both light and deep sleep are necessary as the body heals itself during these stages and if you get the required amount of sleep every day, your body will become healthier and fit.
All in all just like diet and exercise, a good night’s sleep is essential for good health and mind. As we grow older, it gets difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. It is advised that you follow a proper sleeping schedule. If you follow a sleeping schedule from an early age, your body adapts to this schedule. Falling short of sleep can not only affect your health but can also take a toll on productivity throughout the day. So, if you are interested in your well-being so make sleep your top priority!