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Experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep for an adult person for proper mental and physical health. Unfortunately, quite a good number of us barely sleep for the recommended number of hours, mainly due to lifestyle choices. Sleeping for less than the recommended number of hours impacts negatively on body weight, productivity, emotional balance and energy level. We have compiled five tips for better sleep to help you understand the reasons why you should sleep longer at night and the benefits of better night-time sleeping.
Draw up a sleep schedule for night-time sleeping
As we mentioned earlier, 7 to 9 hours of sleep is sufficient for an adult. Draw up a daily program that allows you to sleep 7 to 9 hours before your scheduled waking time. Strictly adhere to your plan. In case of an unavoidable occurrence that stops you from sleeping as per your programme, ensure it doesn’t take more than an hour of your sleeping time. A regular sleeping pattern improves your sleep-wake cycle.
Avoid heavy meals just before your sleeping time
Sleeping on an empty or extremely full stomach may interrupt your sleep. Don’t eat heavy meals, mainly carbs, less than three hours before your scheduled sleeping time. Eating heavy meals puts your body under duress as your body experiences difficulties during digestion. Discomfort may express itself in the form of heartburn at times.
Minimise exposure to blue light at night-time
Exposure to blue light during the night interferes with your normal circadian rhythm, which fools your brain into thinking it’s daytime. Consequently, the hormones responsible for relaxation and sleep are inhibited and you might struggle to get quality sleep.
Nowadays, we get exposed to blue light owing to the heavy use of electronic devices like; smartphones, tablets, computers and so on. Supposing you can’t avoid using these gadgets at night, we suggest the use of blue light blocking glasses designed to block the blue light emanating from your computer, television, tablet or smartphone.
Regulate daytime naps
Over 85% of mammals are polyphasic sleepers, that is, they sleep for brief periods throughout a day. We, however, fall under monophasic sleepers, which means that our days comprise of two definite periods; one for wakefulness and the other for sleep.
Naps, lasting 20-30 minutes, boosts performance, alertness, mood, and refreshes and strengthens your brain; however, they aren’t a substitute for inadequate night-time sleep. Nappers stand in good stead; George W. Bush, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Napoleon are among people known to value an afternoon nap.
Perform physical exercises regularly
It’s essential that you stay active during the entirety of your day. Research proves that people suffering from insomnia or sleep apnoea get better sleep after adding physical exercises to their daily routine. However, we also discourage people from engaging in physical activities a few hours before going to bed. To get quality sleep during night, you must start by eradicating distractions like phones, and cut out habits like eating close to your sleeping hours and establishing a sleeping pattern.