We are a generation who spend sleepless nights thinking about different possibilities of getting good sleep. There are different categories of people among us: Some like to sleep, but have no time to get their daily share. A few others have enough time, but don’t fall asleep due to sleep disorders. Yet, another section get optimum amount of sleep every night, but still feel drowsy due to lack of quality sleep.
There would only be a very minor section of people who are blessed with the right quality and quantity of sleep every day. Whichever section you may belong to, it is very important to know some tips that help us to enhance the quality of our sleep. Because, these tips are going to definitely help us in the long run to maintain proper health.
What is sleep?
Though seemingly simple, even scientists have not been able to answer this question till now. There have been numerous researches conducted to study and analyze sleep patterns and the nature of sleep. But, still sleep remains a mystery for us. Some, common features of sleep are as follows:
- It is a state of reduced physical and mental activity
- Humans usually lie down and close their eyes during sleep
- Response to external stimuli would be low during this period
- It is easy to get out of sleep as opposed to a state of hibernation or coma
What happens in a sleep?
Most people don’t know or even care to know what happens in a sleep. Only those persons with a scientific temper or those lacking good sleep have given a serious thought about sleep.
Earlier it was thought that sleep is a complete state of inactivity. But gradual studies in sleep labs proved that many parts of our body including brain are active to certain extend even during deep sleep. But, when we wake up, we seldom remember anything that happened during sleep.
Why is sleep important?
Sleep is one of the most important need of our body, even important than food. Without sleep a person cannot survive as long as he can survive without food. This is because proper sleep influences many important functions of our human body.
According to research, heartbeat, breathing, blood pressure and body temperature gets reduced and regulated during sleep. Thus, quality sleep helps to give proper rest to our heart, lungs and nerves that has otherwise no moment of rest from our birth to death.
Also, a few functions that have been observed to increase during sleep are production of growth hormone, cell repair and digestion. So, good sleep is a vital element for maintaining good health and increased work productivity during wakefulness.
What are the factors affecting sleep?
There are several factors affecting the quality of our sleep.
- Stress – Life today has become highly stressful due to its hectic schedule.
- Illness – Illness and diseases will reduce the quality of sleep.
- Sleep disorder – There are sleep problems like insomnia and narcolepsy that hampers sleep cycle.
- Environment – Physical distractions like sound, light and climate affect your sleep.
- Change in routine – A change in your daily routine due to travel or other conditions will have an adverse effect on your sleep
- Mattress – The type and quality of your mattress will definitely determine your sleep quality.
How to get quality sleep?
There are a few steps that we can take to improve the quality of our sleep.
- Go to bed and wake up daily at a fixed time.
- Do some relaxation or meditation daily (especially before sleep hours) to reduce stress.
- Consult a physician and take medication if you have some sleep disorder.
- Create a proper environment free from light and sound conducive to sleep (Soothing music and light air cooling would be beneficial).
- Check whether your mattress is comfortable for you and creates no stress or pain in the back or other muscles during long hours of sleep. If so, replace it with a new quality mattress.
Today’s generation must acknowledge that the time spent for sleep is not a waste and it can only increase your health and work productivity. An average person needs at least 7 hours of sleep daily to maintain a robust health. So, follow a daily time table and good sleeping habits to remain active and fresh throughout your waking hours.