The Health Benefits of Sleep: What Good Quality Sleep Can Do For You!by Angela Antrim
Facing the day after a great night of sleep may represent one of the best feelings in the world. Not only does it prepare us for the day ahead, but it also helps us look our best, hence the term 'beauty sleep.'
But, as decadent as a good night's sleep feels, sleep represents a necessity both for physical and mental health.
What defines a good night's sleep?
The average adult needs anywhere from six to ten hours of sleep per night, with most people falling into the eight hours a night category.
To qualify as restorative sleep, 20% of those eight hours must take place in REM or Rapid Eye Movement stage. The REM stage happens as we dream, so if you do recall dreaming, most likely, you experienced a good night's sleep.
During the REM stage, cell regeneration takes place as well as repair to bones and muscles. REM also gives us our energy back and gives us that ready for anything feeling.
What adequate sleep can do for you
A night or two of sleep disturbances will not result in long-term concerns, especially for someone in generally good health.
According to a Harvard study, however, prolonged sleep problems will result in substantial health concerns.
Conversely, adequate sleep brings with it benefits far more, reaching than reducing the bags under our eyes:
- Proper sleep stabilizes metabolism and may help us lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
- A great night's sleep helps our cognitive abilities and allows us to perform at best.
- Quality sleep fights depression and stress.
- Proper sleep combats heart disease.
- Proper sleep strengthens the immune system and allows us to fight colds and flu.
- Sufficient sleep keeps us alert, especially when it comes to driving or operating machinery.
What causes sleep disturbances?
Many different factors contribute to sleep deprivation.
Treating and dealing with poor sleep and sleep disturbances require that we first recognize the cause or causes.
- Improper preparation for bedtime, such as watching violent television programs contributes to tossing and turning.
- Too much coffee or other caffeinated drinks late in the day make it challenging to fall asleep.
- A glass of wine or a shot of your favorite liqueur may help you fall asleep, but it will also lead to sleep disturbances.
- Chronic or severe pain makes sleep almost impossible.
- Autoimmune conditions prevent the REM stage of sleep.
- Stress or anxiety from our professional or personal lives keeps many people awake at night.
Solutions for a better night's sleep
In addition to dealing directly with factors which may cause poor sleep such as alcohol and caffeine, here are a few positive steps which may lead to improved sleep for some great shut-eye:
A healthy bedtime ritual, including some quiet time with a good book or soothing music before the lights go off. If you use a tablet of a Kindle, make sure you use the nighttime feature to eliminate glare.
A relaxing bath, aromatherapy candles, and a cup of Chamomile tea may also help with a better night's sleep.
Adequate exercise during the day promotes better sleep.
Keep in mind aerobic-type exercise should be avoided a couple of hours before bedtime. Yet, some relaxing yoga late in the evening will undoubtedly help prepare for a good night.
The Perfect Mattress
A high-quality and comfortable mattress makes a world of difference in the quality of sleep.
Additionally, a supportive pillow designed for the preferred sleep position also results in better sleep and fewer aches and pains in the morning.
(Learn how to get the most of your pillow by following this complete caring guide!)
Breathable premium bedding not only feels great and promotes falling asleep, but also represents the best choice for your skin and hair.
Minimize Sleeping Aids, if Possible
Occasional usage of sleep aids, both over-the-counter and prescription, constitutes an option for sleepless nights. With various nighttime medicines, problems with dependency and other side-effects may occur.
Even natural choices such as Melatonin and Valerian root come with labels advising against regular use.
Go for Comfortable Bedding
We offer some of the softest, breathable, and comfortable bedding you'll find. Not only are our sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding affordable, they also require minimal care.
Following best bedtime practices while looking forward to comfortable bedding represents the perfect way to end your day.
For more information on getting your well-deserved eight hours of sleep per night, contact us here.
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