Why sleep is so important and some tips to help you get a restful night

A good night’s sleep isn’t just relaxing, it’s absolutely essential. Missing just an hour of sleep can do a serious number on your person. From impacting your appetite to potentially making you more accident prone, you have a lot to lose from the lack of sleep.

Sleep, you, and the world

The significance of sleep is well-known, but just what exactly occurs during this biological process is still being studied to this day. Many agree that whatever happens while we rest is key to our survival. As per noted sleep expert Dr. Meir Kryger: “Some of the reasons suggested for why humans sleep include removal of waste material from the brain, conservation of energy, the restoration of important bodily functions, and the repair of damaged tissues. Certain hormones, for example, are secreted mainly during sleep.” (Related: Sleep most important ingredient of good health, even over diet and exercise, according to scientists.)

That being said, depriving yourself of sleep can have serious consequences on your person and even those around you. Firstly, poor sleep quality and duration can actually make you more susceptible to a variety of health conditions. According to Healthline.com, these range from heart disease to stroke to pre-diabetes to the common cold. Just a bit of sleep loss is enough to greatly impact your immune system function. One study came to the conclusion that sleeping less than seven hours a night makes you three times more likely to catch a cold. Another study suggested that getting no more than four hours of sleep can bring about the symptoms of pre-diabetes after six nights.

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Other people can be affected by your lack of sleep too. By missing out on sleep, you severely impair your social skills. Namely, you become unable to read social cues and properly process emotions. On a more serious note, sleep deprivation also hampers your judgment in other situations, such as while you’re on the road. In fact, daytime sleepiness has been blamed for about 20 percent of car accidents in the United States alone. Moreover, sleepiness is believed to cost businesses a staggering 18 billion U.S. dollars in productivity, largely thanks to the resulting injuries.

How you can get your forty winks naturally

If you’re among the unlucky many who struggle to get a good night’s sleep, don’t worry. There’s no shortage of helpful tips and tricks that will have you sleeping like a baby; and these are just some of them:

  • Avoid exercise before bed — Exercise has a multitude of benefits, one of which is elevating your energy levels. This is good during any other time of the day save for the hours prior to sleep. Exercise has a stimulatory effect that amps up your alertness and the body’s production of energy-boosting hormones. Avoid exercise at least four hours before bedtime to give your body the time to cool down.
  • Keep clear of alcohol and caffeine — Both drinks can negatively affect your sleep quality. While alcohol inhibits melatonin production, caffeine acts as a stimulant. As such, you should minimize your intake of alcohol and caffeine-containing drinks like coffee, soda, and tea. Choose milk as your pre-bedtime drink instead. The tryptophans and proteins found in milk will greatly improve your sleep.
  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule — Sticking to consistent waking and sleeping times will stabilize your biological clock and eventually lead to better sleep. Set a schedule for yourself and follow it, even during weekends. Consistency is key here.
  • Invest in a good pillow, mattress, and bed –Creating a relaxing environment is another way to enhance your sleep, and where you sleep counts. Choose pillows, mattresses, and beds that work for you. Just be sure to change them every few years or so as their quality degrades over time.

If you’d like to read up on more studies or news articles about health in general, then visit Health.news today.

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