If you are not conscious of the number of hours you sleep every night, we implore you to start taking more notice. The health benefits of a good night’s sleep are numerous—from increased work performance to reduced feelings of anxiety, it is evident that sleep health can make a big difference in your quality of life.
Alarmingly, research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that large numbers of Americans experience problems associated with sleep deprivation,
So, what is the right amount of sleep?
NOTE: If you suspect you suffer from a
sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea and insomnia, be sure to contact your primary
Part 1: The Health Benefits of Finding the Right Amount of Sleep
Get sick less often
One of the top health benefits of a good night’s sleep is, well, good health. A study conducted by researchers from UC San Francisco, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that
During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which promote slumber. Certain cytokines need to upsurge when you have an infection or inflammation spurred by stress, and lack of sleep may diminish the production of these defensive cytokines. Furthermore, disease-battling antibodies and cells are diminished during periods when you don't get enough rest.
Reduced stress and improved mood
Evidence suggests that
In addition, lack of sleep hinders activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which commanders complex thinking, processing of emotions, and interpretation of social signals, so you can imagine the toll it could have on your social life.
In terms of sleeplessness affecting your mood, you’re probably aware that lack of sleep is often a symptom of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. Anxiety-induced stress increases agitation, causing your mind to be unable to turn itself off, your heart to beat faster, and your breathing to be quick and shallow.
It should be noted that the right amount of sleep can curb the development of a mood disorder since sleeplessness can negatively contribute to anxiety and depression.
NOTE: If you suspect that the depth and
duration of your sleep is aggravated by a mood disorder, be sure to contact
your primary care physician.
Elevated performance at school and work
It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep is tantamount to good grades and top-notch work performance—at least, it’s what we preach to our restless kiddos when they refuse to turn in by 9 p.m. on a school night.
Children, in particular, are susceptible to experiencing difficulties with attention, activity, learning, and behavior if they don’t get the right amount of sleep
Sleep is often the first thing we sacrifice when life gets busy with heavy workloads, irregular schedules, and parenting.
There’s this fabled notion that one’s work ethic is made to be even more impressive when your REM takes a hit. We’re here to remind you that sleeplessness leads to burnout, which is ultimately
Part 2: How to Get the Right Amount of Sleep
Soak in the sun every day
Now that we’ve extolled the health benefits of a good night’s sleep (and the side effects from a lack thereof), we’d like to turn your attention to ways you can catch your ZZZs without a hitch.
Studies suggest that enjoying hours of direct sunlight helps regulate a person’s circadian rhythm, and time spent in the great outdoors is linked to lower stress levels.
Sleep experts recommend engaging in outdoor activity earlier in the day so that your body naturally unwinds in the evening, closer to bedtime.
Establish a consistent meal schedule
You’ve probably heard that eating close to bedtime is synonymous with self-sabotage, and
If you’re up to the challenge, avoid big meals that will weigh down on your energy and be more difficult for your body to digest. Instead, focus on foods that are rich in protein to hold you over between meals.
Foster an adequate sleep environment
Zero light + zero noise = zero distractions. It’s about that simple when it comes to this tip. Studies suggest that the right amount of sleep is attained
Also, because every human is different, further steps may need to be taken to accommodate your unique circadian rhythms and sensitivities. This could mean setting up an essential oil diffuser or humidifier, investing in a white noise machine, or purchasing a weighted duvet. Whatever the case, make sure any modifications to your sleep environment ensure it to be your (and, if applicable, your sleep partner’s) nighttime nirvana.
And please remember to ditch the electronics once it’s one to two hours before bedtime—the luminous blue-light glow of these devices’ screens can
Create a bedtime routine
Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to forming healthy habits, which is why we recommend establishing a nighttime routine to propel yourself toward deeper, faster slumber.
Ritualistic activities such as running a warm bath, executing your five-step skin-care routine, or reading a book can help your body and mind switch to bedtime mode. It’s really that easy.
Amid your journey toward better sleep, it’s important to assess the quality of the bed you sleep on. Check out our online catalog and peruse our thoughtfully curated selection of name-brand mattresses to see what our business can do for you. Call our experts today—we are always happy to assist.