Sleep is one of the most important parts of the day but the quality of one’s sleep is even more important. However, more often than not, people tend to replace a good night’s sleep with work or other responsibilities that they feel they can’t leave for the next day.
Even celebrities oftentimes decide to take this route, adopting strange sleeping habits which they believe can influence how successful they’ll be. Although this might seem like a good idea at the time, we’ve all heard that healthy sleeping habits can have a positive effect not just on our physical but on our mental health as well.
1. How many hours do you have to sleep a day?
Although you’d be able to sustain yourself on less than six hours of sleep during the day, it would definitely affect your overall health. So how many hours should you sleep a day?
According to the recommendations by National Sleep Foundation, if you’re an adult, 7–9 hours is just the right amount for your body to get the rest it needs so that it can function properly.
With that being said, teenagers and young children need more hours, while older people tend to sleep less during the night. However, they compensate for this by taking naps during the day.
2. When should you go to sleep?
Instead of focusing on the clock, try to focus on what your body is telling you. If you’re not tired and you’re having difficulties falling asleep, then instead of turning around in bed, why not get up and do something that relaxes you?
For some people, this might mean watching television or listening to music, while others often enjoy reading a few pages of their favourite book.
3. Give exercise a shot
People who exercise regularly tend to have fewer problems with sleeping than those who don’t. This might help you if you’re having trouble falling asleep at night. However, don’t work out just before going to bed, because this might have the opposite effect.
Instead, always make sure you exercise early in the day, or as MD Anderson Cancer Center suggests, at least two hours before going to sleep. Also, exercise in an important aspect of sleep hygiene, says Bavinder Patel, a fitness writer.
4. Disconnect in bed
One of the biggest culprits of sleep deprivation is our digital devices. Most of us take phones with us when going to sleep. So instead of focusing on sleeping, we spend a certain amount of time on our phone, either on social media, watching videos, or even reading emails.
This is why our brain starts thinking about everything else instead of sleeping. Therefore, before going to bed tonight, make sure you leave the phone on a nightstand instead of taking it to bed with you.
These are some of the most crucial sleeping habits that everyone should adopt if they want to sleep better and feel rejuvenated in the morning. Here’s a useful infographic for you.
5. Keep a sleep diary
According to the NHS: ‘It can be a good idea to keep a sleep diary. It may uncover lifestyle habits or daily activities that contribute to your sleeplessness. If you see your GP or a sleep expert they will probably ask you to keep a sleep diary to help them diagnose your sleep problems. So taking one you’ve already done with you could save time
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg. He writes for the American Psychological Association and has a weekly column for Free Malaysia Today.
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