Sleep is one of those things that everyone wishes they were getting, but not enough people are. Unfortunately, missing out on your nightly Z’s can do more than make you groggy or inspire a coffee addiction; it can be severely detrimental to your health. Today, let’s explore the importance of a good night’s sleep and then talk about a few handy tips for catching more winks every night.
The Crucial Functions of Sleep
Making sure that you get adequate sleep is vital for healthy brain function and overall positive well-being. To understand sleep deficiency and the importance of quality sleep, we must first understand the two basic types of sleep: rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM. Non-REM sleep comprises of what is known as “deep sleep” or “slow-wave sleep” while dreaming usually occurs during REM sleep. Ordinarily, non-REM and REM sleep occur in a normal pattern of 3–5 cycles each night. Your physical health and daytime function depend on whether you’re getting sufficient sleep and enough of REM and non-REM sleep
- Cardiovascular disease and hypertension
- The common cold
Beauty Sleep: It’s a Thing
As if that’s not enough, there really is such a thing as “beauty sleep.” We’re all familiar with the unfortunate effects of getting too little sleep: red and puffy eyes, dark under-eye circles, baggy-looking dull skin. As it turns out, sleep does a lot to tighten skin and improve overall appearance — and not just in the short term.
In fact, one study directly links sleep deprivation to aging skin. Not only that, but people who had enough sleep had a more positive self-perception of their appearance! How’s that for a double whammy?
Get More Sleep: STAT!
Several sleep studies recommend seven to nine hours a night. Try adhering to a strict sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Be sure not to stray too far from your sleep schedule on the weekends. Also, try to avoid any large meals within two hours of bedtime. Make the hour before bed your “quiet time.” Take a hot bath, dim the lights, limit screen time, and use this time to relax the body and mind.
If you suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders, it’s important to seek help right away. Before opting for over-the-counter medications, though, try natural approaches such as a hot bath before bed or a sleep therapy massage. The latter uses human touch to relax the brain and stimulate natural sleep on an ongoing basis.
It’s time to get the rest you deserve, so make sleep a priority today!