Good sleep is a topic that is often neglected, but it is a very important aspect of our everyday life. Sleep has been extensively studied and affects our quality of life in many ways — be it our efficiency at work, our endurance when it comes to daily tasks, or the prevention of diseases and maintenance of mental health, just to name a few.
Sleep is essential to our health
It strongly influences our capacity to recover both mentally and physically, allows us to store memories, influences our mood, and promotes growing in children. It basically impacts every aspect of our life by affecting the way we think, learn, behave, feel, and interact with others.
Poor sleep and sleep deprivation have been associated with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, impaired mental capacity, and poor motor coordination. Specialists have shown that “healthy sleep” might be the best way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and that there is a strong relationship between sleep and proper functioning of the immune system.
While sleep disorders and the impact of sleep on general health have been extensively studied, the conditions necessary for good sleep, often called “sleep hygiene,” are sometimes overlooked.
Many times we prefer to look directly to pathology and label our sleeping problems as a disease. We turn too quickly to medication and skip the simple yet critical changes we could easily make to get better sleep.
Sleep impacts every aspect of our lives. Here are some of the main points you might want to take into consideration in order to get a good night’s sleep.
1. A Comfortable Pillow
A good pillow decides a lot about your sleep pattern. It should not be too thick as it could cause neck sprains. Make sure you buy a pillow that caters to your needs and enhances sleep.
2. Check Your Room’s Environment
Pay attention to room temperature, air humidity, and pollution. Avoid noise, even if you don’t think it bothers you. Make sure there is no light while you are asleep as it disturbs the sleep. Sleep in well-ventilated rooms. Include sports in your daily activity, Make sure you follow a good workout regime and also stick to it.
3. Keep a good habit
Avoid alcohol. Even if it might make you drowsy, it affects the quality of your sleep and you will end up waking up more often and not sleeping deeply.
Avoid sugary beverages, fruits, and snacks before bed. These increase your energy level making it more difficult for you to fall asleep. When you finally drift off, the drop in blood sugar levels will wake you up again.
Make sure your evening meal contains foods high in L-tryptophan (e.g., walnuts, pumpkin, beans and lentils, spirulina, spinach, soy, and broccoli). This amino acid increases the production of melatonin and serotonin and helps you to get a good night’s sleep.
Try to have the last meal of the day no later than 6 pm (or 5 pm for people with weight problems).