It is recommended that adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, but this is something that many people do not get for one reason or another. This could be impacting just about every area of your life and the importance of a good night’s sleep for both your physical and mental health cannot be overstated, so it is worth making sleep a priority for your overall wellbeing.
First, it is important to understand the different stages of sleep. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep usually takes place about an hour and a half after falling asleep and in this time your eyes will move, your breathing and heart rate increases and even your blood pressure increases (this is the stage where most of your dreams happen). There are then 3 stages of non-REM sleep with the first taking place as you go from awake to sleeping where breathing, heart rate and brain wave activity slows. In stage 2, breathing, brain waves and heart rate continue to slow and in stage 3 you are in a deep, restorative state.
Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night can bring a multitude of benefits to your life and is important for your physical health. Regular sleep can:
- Improve heart health
- Promote growth and development
- Help immunohealth
- Help to maintain a healthy weight
- Improve energy conservation
Why People Might Struggle
It is clear that getting enough sleep is not only beneficial but important for your wellbeing, but there are many reasons why people might struggle to get enough sleep. This might be related to their schedule, it could be their sleeping environment or even a medical condition like narcolepsy. Therefore, it is a good idea to identify the reasons why you are not getting enough sleep and then take action to remedy the situation, such as buying sliding wardrobes so that you can keep the bedroom free from clutter if this is an issue.
Ways to Improve Sleep
There are lots of effective ways to improve your sleep if you are currently struggling for any particular reason. Here are a few ideas:
- Go to bed earlier/get up later
- Avoid using screens an hour before bed
- Read/meditate/relax before bed
- Buy a new bed/mattress/bedding
- Avoiding caffeine before bed
- Make improvements to your bedroom
- Managing stress
Sleep is so important for physical and mental health and getting enough can improve so much of your life, but despite this, it is an area that many people struggle with for one reason or another and should be addressed.