Science has shown that getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to have bad effects on almost all parts and functions of your body. The key to getting a good night of sleep is getting to sleep in the first place. There are some things you may be doing that keep you from getting to sleep sooner.
Getting to sleep is a process that doesn’t happen instantaneously. You need to wind down first so that your body processes can get ready for sleep. Some people take a few minutes to read a book or meditate. Maybe some light stretching, or some soft music can help you relax before bed. Whatever you can do to let your body and brain wind down will help you sleep better.
Shut your electronic devices down before going to bed. Studies have shown that the bright blue and white light waves radiating from these devices throw off your internal clock. The brain becomes confused and signals the body to stay awake. The information you’re getting from these devices also continues to stimulate the brain making it harder to relax.
Alcohol before bed does put you to sleep, but it’s not a good sleep. Alcohol induced sleep is artificial and doesn’t let your brain cycle through all the stages of sleep that occur naturally. All these stages play their own role in rejuvenating our bodies and minds for the next day. The National Sleep Foundation says that if you’re going to drink, do it earlier and not close to bedtime.
You can’t make up the sleep you missed one night on some other night, it just doesn’t work that way. Over time, being chronically sleep deprived has been linked to increased risk of health problems like weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and memory loss.
When it’s time to sleep, just try to relax and get the best sleep you can.