In order to have a productive next day and stay in great health, getting a good night’s sleep is paramount. Without ample rest, the mind and body just cannot keep up with daily demands, especially when poor sleep occurs night after night. Unfortunately, there are many small factors that can chip away at people’s ability to get a good night’s rest.
Most find that working to eliminate those factors and optimize sleep patterns is well worth the effort — but it is important to know just where to start. Luckily, it is easy to make this change with help from this guide. Here’s all everyone needs to know about improving sleep quality with smart bedroom upgrades and simple lifestyle changes.
The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep
Each night, upon going to sleep, the brain and body start the biological repair processes in earnest. The brain works hard in cataloging the prior day’s activities and thoughts, creating new pathways through the memory banks. The body, on the other hand, works on repairing cell damage, regulating hormones, and restoring the immune system among other vital tasks. Together, these processes prepare the mind and body for the next day, ensuring you can operate at peak efficiency.
Losing just an hour or two of sleep each night can seriously disrupt these processes, leading to a number of difficulties the next day. The brain must have enough time to move into a deep state of sleep to start all the repairs. This only begins in the third stage of non-REM, or rapid eye movement, sleep and in REM sleep. Throughout the night, people move through all the stages of sleep in a cycle, allowing the mind and body to rejuvenate.
Without enough sleep, it is common to experience:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Inability to pay attention to the details
- Difficulties thinking and making decisions
- Slow reaction times
- Trouble using healthy coping skills
- Elevated hunger levels
- Poor immune system function
- Decreased emotional processing
- Low sex drive
- Increased inflammation
- Bouts of uncontrollable microsleep
A lack of adequate sleep also increases the risk of a number of health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. People are also at a higher risk of suffering injuries at work and home after sleep deficiencies set in. The resulting inability to think clearly and make logical decisions can cause errors that lead to potentially serious injuries. In fact, some of the world’s biggest disasters, such as the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown occurred, at least in part, due to sleep deprivation.
What is Sleep Hygiene?
Great sleep hygiene is the answer to sleep deprivation. Sleep hygiene is all the different methods people use to optimize the quality of the sleep they get. It is all the habits that people develop, and often fiercely protect, to get enough rest each and every night. Sleep hygiene often starts with the full preparation of the bedroom. The removal of all electronic devices and other potential distractions is usually the first step. A look inward might come next to find all the other things that might compromise the quality and quantity of sleep enjoyed each night.
Good sleep habits often take time to develop and may require some trial and error. What works for one person might not be the ticket for another, so it makes sense to try out the different tools and techniques before committing fully. With this approach, it is possible to weed out all the disruptions and habits that keep people from getting enough quality sleep.