All of us need to sleep. It is like water or food. Maybe one cannot hesitate to drink water for a day, but what about the next day?
Sleep is our primary need for leading a healthy life. There are two components for judging the healthiness of our sleep; quantity and quality. Each individual should allocate enough time to sleep and must have a deep sleep during that specific time.
As humans get older, their regular sleeping hours decrease. For example, a baby can sleep for 14 hours. But this number is not typical for the baby’s grandfather. As scientists reveal, a healthy adult’s sleep is between 7 to 9 hours a day. Sleeping less than 7 hours has harmful effects on body functions and health. For example, sleepiness causes more faulty production at work or during driving. It is also associated with anxiety, overeating, cardiovascular diseases, and disturbed immune function. More than 9 hours of sleep is not associated directly with any health problems, however, when not required as such, what is the need to waste time sleeping?
Knowing the number of hours is not enough. Sometimes one may be insomniac when one wants to sleep. Occasionally a person sleeps 9 hours but again feels tired in the morning. The problem is about sleep hygiene and quality of sleep, which are correlated. Therefore raising awareness about it can affect public health.
Sleep hygiene is defined as certain behavioral modifications that help achieve healthy sleep. Researchers have proved that knowing some tips in this field and practicing them help have better sleep quality. It’s essential to know when, where, and how should one sleep? Which activities help one experience deep sleep at night and keep us awake?
The human body has an internal clock, namely the Circadian Rhythm. It is better to follow this circle and not fight against it. Sleeping at night and waking up in the morning are parts of this rhythm.
Having a schedule for our self also improves our sleep quality. Waking up at 7 A.M and sleeping at 11 P.M is a suggestion. This routine could be followed every day.
Being in a noisy environment disrupts our sleep. The efficient place would ideally be a dark, comfortable, silent environment where one would not experience disruption. It is better to consider it just for sleeping. If you sleep in your bedroom, do not work in it. If you lie on your bed and can not sleep, do not check your email on your bed; stand up and read something, then when you feel tired, come back to your bed.
Consumption of caffeine and nicotine 6 hours before one sleeps should be avoided. Although exercising during the day can help us have better sleep hygiene, do not exercise 3 hours before bedtime. Being active on social media while in bed is another behavioral problem. Investigators described a fear of missing something in the person checking social media before sleep. This fear causes a compulsion to recheck the phone. I experienced it and wasted a lot of hours before my sleeping time. Keeping my phone away and setting the alarm on a clock and not my phone helped me immensely. Avoiding daytime napping is the last example of activity improvement.
In conclusion, all of us need proper high-quality sleep. There is a social need for increased general acknowledgment on this subject. Practicing this is the next step to making a healthy habit.
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