Sleep is one of the body’s most natural functions, powering it down to rejuvenate physically and mentally. But not all sleep is the same and some types are better than others. This is a simple guide to getting a great sleep.
The average adult needs between seven-and-a-half and nine hours of sleep, but that may vary depending on your age. It’s likely you’ll need different levels of sleep at various stages of your life, but the research is clear: too little can lead to heart disease, moodiness, forgetfulness, drowsiness, depression and anxiety, while too much sleep can also have similar effects.
There are two main types of sleep but a variety of phases. The first type is REM sleep where you dream and crystallise the information from the day. The second is non-REM sleep, which works through a range of phases:
• Light sleep – where you doze but little rejuvenation is undertaken
• Middle sleep – which is slightly restorative
• Deep sleep – when the body does its repairs.
How To Get It
It’s one thing to talk about the type of sleep you need and another to actually get it. A good night’s sleep is like a great meal full of quality elements that come together to guarantee satisfaction. In the case of sleep they are:
The Right Environment
Your bedroom is a place of rest, so avoid too much stimulation from electronic devices and try not to complete work in there. Ensure you are sleeping on a mattress that is less than 10 years old and suits your firm or soft preference and health requirements. Retailers like Sleepy’s have a great range available to choose from, so be picky until you find the ideal sleeping surface for you.
Lack Of Stimulants
To fall asleep easily and stay in a restful slumber, you should restrict caffeine consumption to before 3pm. Heavy meals should also be avoided just prior to bedtime – an early dinner is a good idea.
A Sleep Routine
If you find it hard to get to sleep, consider a sleep routine involving activities like a warm shower, light yoga or meditation. Meditation can also be helpful if you often find yourself solving the problems of the world at 3am, as the process of meditating before sleep helps ensure your dozing is more restful.
Monitor Your Sleep
There are a host of apps, websites and DVDs available dedicated to helping people sleep. These include some that guide your dreams and others that monitor your sleep patterns and wake you from your lightest sleep in the morning during a wake-up window.
A variety of apps also provide meditation techniques and ambient noise to assist you in falling into slumber.
If you’ve ever had to do without it over a lengthy period of time, you’ll know the consequences of sleep deprivation and the havoc it can wreak on you mentally and physically. Like food, it’s an essential element of human functioning, so consider the above advice and sleep on it.