What’s Sleep Got to do with it?
What’s sleep got to do with it well everything. Sometimes, life barely gives you time to stop and rest making healthy sleep seem like a dream. You know you need to be well-rested to motor through your daily to-do’s, but you might not realize the critical role sleep plays in your overall health.
What’s Healthy Sleep?
Getting good quality sleep can help you to feel your best self. A healthy sleep pattern improves your learning, creativity, and mood. It strengthens the immune system, and it is easier to maintain a healthy diet. Your brain is also processing the info you’ve been taking in all day, which supports your long-term memory.
In contrast, if you aren’t getting enough healthy sleep, you feel sluggish, foggy, depressed, and have low energy. Sometimes, it is obvious when you are not sleeping well. In other cases, poor sleep and its adverse effects build up gradually.
Take a step back and consider your sleep habits and your nightly experience of sleep. Healthy sleep requires successfully sleeping for a certain number of hours. But it also means getting quality, uninterrupted sleep over those hours and doing so consistently.
What’s a Healthy Sleep Pattern?
Sleep is a complex process that affects our entire body. When we sleep, we cycle through a series of sleep stages. Light to deep sleep and then rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Successfully cycling through these sleep stages multiple times each night restores our body and mind.
The greatest benefits of sleep are when you get enough uninterrupted hours each night and maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
Now, let’s learn about the three key components of a healthy sleep pattern.
What’s sleep duration got to do with it? Let’s find out. Getting a healthy amount of sleep is a key part of a good sleep pattern. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that most adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.
Alternatively, rapid growth and development mean that children need additional hours of sleep. In fact, babies might need up to 17 hours per night, while teens need 8 to 10 hours.
These guidelines can be a helpful starting place when you think about what healthy sleep means for you.
Quality sleep is continuous. Disrupted sleep interferes with the cycling through all four stages of sleep reducing the healthy deep sleep REM.
For example, people with sleep apnea experience brief partial awakenings due to lapses in breathing during the night. Sleep for these individuals appears to be normal, but they suffer from sleep deprivation because of these interruptions.
Continuous sleep supports our brain and body functions, and continuous sleep is as important as sleep duration. Also, studies show that those who have greater sleep continuity performed better on cognitive tasks the next day.
The timing of your sleep in 24 hours is also important. Your circadian rhythms are linked to your body’s internal clock and cues from the environment.
Light is the most important regulator of circadian rhythms. It triggers the processes that cause us to feel awake. While dim lighting or darkness triggers changes that promote sleep. When sleep timing is off, it’s difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, and get enough hours of sleep.
Additionally, a regular bedtime promotes healthy sleep and reduces the risk for adverse health effects.
What’s Your Sleep Score?
To begin with, here are some daytime indicators that you have established a healthy sleep pattern.
- Waking up feeling refreshed in the morning
- Having lots of energy during the day
- Being in a good mood
- Feeling clear-headed
On the other hand, an unhealthy sleep pattern comes with indicators too.
- Having trouble getting up in the morning
- Struggling to focus
- Irritability, depression, or anxiety
- Feeling sleepy during the day or needing a nap
- Sleeping much longer or later during unstructured days
What’s Sleep Hygiene?
Paying attention to sleep hygiene is the most straightforward way to set yourself up for better sleep.
Strong sleep hygiene means having a bedroom environment and a daily routine that promotes consistent, uninterrupted sleep. Keeping a stable sleep schedule and making your bedroom comfortable and free of disruptions is a good start.
So, now you know what sleep has to do with it!
Help Is Available
With this in mind, if you are not sure how to implement healthy sleep habits, talk to your doctor. It’s also important to speak up if you engage in good sleep hygiene practices and struggle with sleep.
Contributing source – National Sleep Foundation
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