According to the Huffington Post, reporting on Harvard Medical School research recently:
There is no doubt that quality sleep can be elusive, challenging, and quite simply, not ‘a given’ for many. Exploring how we can improve sleep is worth doing, as the benefits are so important to health and wellbeing! For example, according to Dr. Merrill Mitler, a sleep expert and neuroscientist, “sleep helps service all aspects of our body in one way or another: molecular, energy balance, as well as intellectual function, alertness, and mood.” Put simply, sleeps helps you:
So, what is a good night’s sleep and how might we work towards that?
A good night’s sleep consists of 4 to 5 sleep cycles. Each cycle includes periods of deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (when we dream). Although personal needs vary, on average, adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Young children need at least 10 hours of sleep, while teenagers need at least 9 hours. To attain the maximum restorative benefits of sleep, getting a full night of quality sleep is important.
Sleep can be disrupted by many things. Stimulants such as caffeine or certain medications can keep you up. Distractions such as electronics—especially the blue light from TVs, cell phones, tablets, and e-readers—can prevent you from falling asleep. As people get older, they may not get enough sleep because of illness, medications, or sleep disorders. By some estimates, about 70 million Americans of all ages suffer from chronic sleep problems.
To improve sleep, consider consulting with your doctor, adding helpful supplements to your diet, reducing stress, and adopting a “wind-down routine” about 60-90 minutes before bed. According to The Sleep Foundation, various steps can be taken for healthier sleep routines. These include:
It can take time, as well as trial and error, to find the best routines and bedroom arrangements for each individual. However, it will likely offer benefits in helping you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night. In turn, the accumulation of consistent high-quality sleep will improve the way you move through life in all aspects: work, relationships, mood, energy, creativity, and kindness!