Sleep is a fascinating phenomenon from time immemorial.
Stories and movies like Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks, Rip Van Winkle, Jack and the Beanstalk all have elements of sleep in them.
Paintings like Lullaby, Flaming June, the Sentry and countless others also have sleep as the main theme.
Technically speaking, sleep is a state of mind and body that occurs naturally, where sensory activities are inhibited and we have little or no interactions with our surroundings. Physically, we may be inert but there is still activity going on at the subconscious level.
Sleep is very important to a person’s wellbeing.
Sleep helps in:
- Recovery – The body heals itself during sleep and removes toxins accumulated during the day.
- Sleep improves the body’s immunity.
- Decreases the risk of conditions like obesity, high blood pressure and depression.
- Sleep helps to improve memory and knowledge because it is during sleep that dendrites have no other external stimulus, hence solidifying memory and knowledge.
- Dreaming – Dreams occur during REM part of sleep.
Now that we have established the importance of sleep, let’s look at how one can get quality sleep.
- Set a regular schedule for sleeping and waking up. This is more important than the number of hours you sleep.
- The National Sleep Foundation advises one to sleep on a comfortable bed and pillows. Check your bed and mattress’s maximum life expectancy. In a world with myriad options, it is good to check what other people are saying in regards to sleep products. For example, if you check any Ghostbed pillow reviewonline, you will find unbiased reviews by people who have used the pillow.
- If possible, even two hours before sleeping, avoid using smart phones, computers or other gadgets with blue light. This is because such light interferes with melatonin which helps one to sleep.
- Ensure you are active during the day or at least do some exercise.
- Check on your food – Avoid heavy meals before sleeping.
- Helpguide proposes that you ensure you have a suitable sleeping environment by not having a TV in your bedroom, using appropriate lighting, keeping noise to a minimum and having good ventilation.
- Seek to clear your mind before going to bed. If you have stressful thoughts from work or home, seek help as such thoughts will interfere with the quality of your sleep.
- Some people may need to engage in some relaxation techniques in order to sleep. These can involve taking some slow breaths, making your muscles tense then relaxing them, listening to some soft music, taking a warm bath or reading a book.
- Avoid naps during the day.
- In some instances, the inability to regularly get a quality night sleep could point to an underlying issue that may need you to get a medical check-up.
You can now enjoy your sleep. Bonne Nuite!