Sleep is essential for your health and well being. It’s no wonder the World Sleep Society created the World Sleep Day (observed 13 March each year) to raise awareness of the importance of good quality sleep and to reduce the burden of sleep issues on society. Management and prevention of sleep disorders is also an agenda on World Sleep Day. On this day, health patients, researchers, and professionals congregate to recognize sleep and its effects on human health and well being. No amount of caffeine, pill, or technology can replace the benefits of good quality sleep to your body and mind. So, if you want to live a happy and healthy life, get good quality sleep every day.
What is quality sleep?
When determining sleep quality, most people base their decision on the number of hours they spent on their beds. While that may be true, the restfulness of your sleep is the most important factor.
Measuring sleep quality and sleep quantity
- Sleep quantity
When it comes to sleep quantity, experts recommended 7 to 9 hours of night sleep for adults. However, young adults (between 18 and 25 years old) need about 6 hours of night sleep. Others require up to 10 hours to completely restore their energy. The bottom line is that people are wired differently, and so your alertness after 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep will determine your sleep quantity.
- Sleep quality
Sleep quality is how well you sleep. People who get good quality sleep typically fall asleep 30 minutes or less after hitting the bed and sleep uninterrupted for more than 6 hours. On the other hand, bad quality sleeping is where you hit the bed but stare at the ceiling for more than 30 minutes. This staring could go on for more than 2 hours. This could be due to a condition called Insomnia, a sleep disorder characterized by the inability to fall asleep.
Both quality and quantity sleep are good if you feel healthy, happy and rejuvenated when you wake up, but quality sleep is better
Benefits of quality sleep
Boosts your concentration and productivity
Getting quality sleep boosts your mood and energy when you wake up and this improves your performance. Here are the things quality sleep can do for you:
Enables you to recover quickly from distractions
Quality sleep will enable you to refocus on the task at hand quicker when distracted compare to someone who is sleep-deprived.
Helps prevent burn out
Burn out is more likely to hit you when you’re sleep-deprived. When you experience burnout, your body is tired and your mind doesn’t think straight. One of the main causes of burn out is sleep deprivation. Research shows that poor quality sleep costs American companies over 63.2 billion annually in lost productivity.
Helps you make quick decisions
Some jobs like law enforcement require you to make split-second decisions to survive or save a life. Sleep deprivation might not allow you to make those quick decisions, and this could cost you or your partner. Quality sleep means your mind is fresh and you can easily make quick decisions.
Improves your recollection
If you find trouble remembering things, it could be because you’re not getting enough sleep. If you’re studying, quality sleep will help you recollect or remember what you learned during the day. Research shows that sleep-deprived people are more likely to fail exams than those who get adequate sleep.
You won’t be prone to making mistakes
Sleep deprivation lowers your response time and accuracy rate. That means you’ll be more prone to making mistakes than a drunken person.
Quality sleep is essential for good health and well being
Sleep deprivation can contribute to serious health issues, such as stroke, heart disease, heart attack, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The most common sleep disorder is Insomnia, a condition in which you have trouble falling asleep. Insomnia can lead to other health conditions, such as chronic pain, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) weak immunity, and Parkinson’s disease.
Quality sleep is essential for healing
When working during the day, many tissues get worn out and they must be repaired for your body to function properly and for you to continue living a healthy life. Most of the repair of worn-out body tissues occurs when you’re asleep. If you don’t get sufficient sleep, it means those worn-out tissues won’t be repaired and you’ll feel tired and weak throughout the day. When you get sufficient sleep, you wake up rejuvenated and rearing to go.
Sleep deprivation leads to weight gain
Poor quality sleep results in hormonal changes that regulate hunger and appetite. The body contains a hormone called leptin that suppresses your appetite and drives the body to expend energy. Poor quality sleep reduces this hormone in your body, leaving you will a high appetite. That means you’ll want to snack on any food you stumble across, which can lead to weight gain.
How to get quality sleep every day
- Discover your best sleep schedule
Some people like to sleep late and wake up late. Others like to sleep early and wake up early. Discover your best sleeping schedule and stick to it. When you do that, you’ll find that you’ll be falling asleep quickly when you hit the bed and sleeping uninterrupted for more than 6 hours.
- Make your bedroom sleep-friendly
Ensure your bed is for sleep and sex only. Don’t binge-watch TV or work on it. When you do that, your mind will naturally associate your bed with relaxation and sleep, and this will enable you to fall asleep quickly.
- Turn off your phone when you hit the bed
Mobile phone usage is the greatest contributor to sleep deprivation. Social media can be addictive, and you might find yourself eating up your sleeping time because of it. So, ensure to turn your phone off if you want to get quality sleep.
- Exercise regularly
Exercises can help induce sleep. Exercises tire your body out and make you fall asleep quickly. However, avoid late-night exercises as they can have the exact opposite effect.
- Eat a healthy diet
A healthy body helps you fall asleep naturally. So, eat a balanced diet during the day. However, watch out what you eat at night. Avoid overly fatty foods and sugary snacks at night. Also, limit your drug, caffeine, and alcohol intake at night. Caffeine is known to cause sleep deprivation. Alcohol may induce sleep but it will interrupt your sleep and leave you feeling tired when you wake up. A balanced diet contains protein, vitamin, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, fat, and water.