This is the best time to sleep and wake up if you want to stay fit!

This is the best time to sleep and wake up if you want to stay fit!

This is the best time to sleep and wake up if you want to stay fit!

Sleeping is as important as eating or breathing is to our lives. Not sleeping enough does not only make you feel drowsy but also reduces your productivity level. Not sleeping well is the reason for so many problems like stress, depression and hypertension. And along with quantity, the quality of sleep is equally important and counts in how well you sleep. Sleeping for a few hours seems to be the ultimate answer to most of your problems – be it physical or mental.  There is a fine line between sleeping for the right amount of time to oversleeping and under sleeping.

How many hours of sleep do a person actually need?

Newborns(0 to 3 months) 14 to 17 hours a day
Infants(4 to 11 months) 12 to 15 hours a day
Toddlers(1 to 2 years) 11 to 14 hours a day
Preschoolers(3 to 5 years) 10 to 13 hours a day
School-age Children(6 to 13 years) 9 to 11 hours a day
Teenagers(14 to 17 years) 8 to 10 hours a day
Young Adults(18 to 25 years) 7 to 9 hours a day
Adults(26 to 64 years) 7 to 9 hours a day
Older Adults(over 65 years) 7 to 8 hours a day

The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, heart health, weight and many more.

Benefits of good sleep:

  • Sleep Reduces Stress
    When your body has sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body’s functions are put on high alert, which causes high blood pressure and the production of stress hormones. High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack and stroke, and the stress hormones make it harder to fall asleep.
  • Sleep Keeps Your Heart Healthy
    Heart attacks and strokes are more likely to occur during the early morning hours, which may be due to the way sleep interacts with the blood vessels. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
  • Sleep May Help Prevent Cancer
    Did you know that people who work the late shift have a higher risk of developing breast and colon cancer? Researchers believe light exposure reduces melatonin levels. Melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, is thought to protect against cancer as it appears to suppress the growth of tumors. Be sure that your bedroom is dark and avoid using electronics before bed in order to help your body produce the melatonin it needs.
  • Sleep Reduces Inflammation
    Increased stress hormones caused by lack of sleep raises the level of inflammation in your body. This creates a greater risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes. Inflammation is thought to cause the body to deteriorate as we age.
  • Sleep Improves Your Memory
    Sleep plays an important role in a process called memory consolidation. During sleep, your body may be resting, but your brain is busy processing your day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings, and memories. Deep sleep is a very important time for your brain to make memories and links, and getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.

5 Ways to sleep more peacefully:

  • Minimize light and sound
    These two environmental factors can impact both your quality and quantity of sleep. Darkness causes your brain to release melatonin for a calming, sleepy effect. As a result, it’s important to minimize your exposure to light before bedtime. Ban these devices from your bedroom, and create a dark space by using blackout shades or an eye mask. Noise can also interfere with your ability to sleep. Try using a fan or a noise machine to block out unwanted noises.
  • Get Comfortable
    Adults spend about a third of their lives asleep, so it’s worthwhile to invest in bedding that comforts and relaxes you. Before climbing into bed, try lowering your thermostat a few degrees. Your core temperature drops during rest, and keeping your room on the chilly side will aid in this natural temperature drop.
  • Manage Stress
    How you handle stress can play a significant role in your ability to fall and stay asleep. While stress isn’t all bad, when it turns into worry or anxiety, it can disrupt your sleep. If you’re busy mind is keeping you up at night, try practicing stress management techniques before you go to bed.
  • Get out of bed
    If you find yourself lying in bed stressing about your inability to sleep, get out of bed and do something that will promote relaxation. This might be reading an uninteresting book, practicing a relaxation technique or focusing on your breath. When you begin to feel drowsy, head back to bed.
  • Keep a routine
    Just like kids, adults sleep better when they have a bedtime routine. Doing the same thing before bed each night can help prepare your body for rest and condition your brain for sleep. Stick to activities that promote relaxation such as gentle stretching, journaling, reading or meditation.