Tuesday, 21 January 2014

How to Get Enough Sleep: University of Harvard Tips

Did you know that we spend a third of our lives sleeping? Unfortunately, many of us care more about healthy eating than healthy sleep. It is important to know why do we need to sleep and how to get enough healthy sleep. These tips will help you get a better sleep.

Why Do We Need to Sleep?

These are some of the main reasons why we need sleep: 

  • Sleep has a great impact on memory. This includes sleeping before learning a new task and after learning to help process the intake. 
  • Lack of adequate sleep can affect your mood, motivation, judgement, and perception of our surrounding and events.
  • Deprivation of sleep affect our performance in general such as in sports. 
  • Getting enough sleep makes us feel happier, more energetic, and better able to function.  
  • Although there is lots of unfinished research on the subject, there is consensus that consolidated sleep throughout an entire night is optimal for learning and memory.  

So, just like your body feels hunger when you are hungry, it does feel sleepiness when you are sleepy. Catch the hint and sleep well. 

How to Get the Sleep We Need?

These tips are from Harvard University's Division of Sleep Medicine:

#1 Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine, and Other Chemicals that Interfere with Sleep

#2 Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep-Inducing Environment

#3 Establish a Soothing Pre-Sleep Routine

#4 Go to Sleep When You’re Truly Tired

#5 Don’t Be a Nighttime Clock-Watcher

#6 Use Light to Your Advantage

#7 Keep Your Internal Clock Set with a Consistent Sleep Schedule

#8 Nap Early—Or Not at All

#9 Lighten Up on Evening Meals

#10 Balance Fluid Intake

#11 Exercise Early

#12 Follow Through

Here is an important final note on the tips: 

"Some of these tips will be easier to include in your daily and nightly routine than others. However, if you stick with them, your chances of achieving restful sleep will improve. That said, not all sleep problems are so easily treated and could signify the presence of a sleep disorder such as apnearestless legs syndromenarcolepsy, or another clinical sleep problem. If your sleep difficulties don’t improve through good sleep hygiene, you may want to consult your physician or a sleep specialist. Learn more at When to Seek Treatment." 

Harvard Medical School and WGBH Educational Foundation - Division of Sleep Medicine - Healthy Sleep: http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/

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