Get the Rest You Deserve
Pulling an all-nighter will leave you feeling awful all day long, which is why most people avoid missing a night of sleep as much as possible. What many don’t realize is that smaller amounts of sleep deprivation can also be impactful on day-to-day productivity, and even long-term health.
Chronic sleep deprivation has a number of associated risks:
- Increased risk of car accidents
- Appetite hormone disturbances that may lead to increased cravings
- Higher associations with developing diabetes, heart disease and some cancers
How Much is Enough?
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults get 7+ hours of quality sleep each night. That means at least 7 hours of truly restful sleep, not just time spent lying in bed. The exact amount of sleep that recharges you best varies per person and typically falls between 7 and 9 hours.
Even though some people claim that they can function on less sleep than that, they’re likely not thinking or moving at their best. After even one night of little sleep, you might find it harder to:
- Pay attention and remember new things
- Regulate emotions and react to stressors rationally
- Make decisions and solve problems
Tips for Better Sleep
Make your bedtime routine a priority. Try these techniques to help you get better sleep each night:
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol for at least several hours before going to bed.
- Make sure you’re not going to bed hungry, but stay clear of late-night snacks that are likely to cause indigestion (anything spicy, acidic, fatty or fried).
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, cool, and devoid of phone or tablet screens.
- Exercise during the day, just not too close to when you intend to sleep.
- Establish set times to go to sleep and to wake up and stick to them, even on the weekend.
There are over-the-counter supplements that are marketed towards improving your sleep quality, but always consult your doctor before using supplements. Your doctor can also help you determine if your sleep troubles may be caused by an underlying medical condition.
Put in the effort to get better sleep, and your body will thank you for it.