We are taught from childhood that good sleep lasting 7-9 hours is fundamental for life (Cappuccio et al., 2008). Your quality of sleep can affect your health in surprising ways. Prolonged sleep deprivation can be a common cause of tiredness and fatigue. This problem can cause you difficulty to concentrate (Walker et al., 2002). Irritability, disorientation, paranoia, and hallucinations are the other effects of insufficient sleep (Guadagni et al., 2014; van der Helm et al., 2010). Deep sleep helps your organs to get repaired and get appropriate hormones released. Good quality sleep helps your internal organs function properly (Mah et al., 2011). It increases your cognitive performance including attention, working memory, and decision-making abilities (Tsuno et al., 2005). If you're having trouble sleeping, start working on improving your sleep quality. Here are some tips to get you started:
First, have a routine (Cohen et al., 2009). Humans are habitual creatures and creating a systematic routine will improve sleep. Something as simple as brushing your teeth, reading a book for 15 minutes, and immediately going to bed is a habit you can build to make your sleep almost automatic at night. You can also want to use sleep trackers. These will help you figure out how much sleep you're actually getting. They will also make sure you don't wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle. Don't drink alcohol before going to bed. This prevents your body from performing important restorative processes. When you are under the influence of alcohol, your body won't recover properly. Stop drinking coffee six hours before bedtime. Studies show that drinking coffee can double the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
Second, keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. Use blackout curtains to darken your room. You can find a wide range of those curtains in our internet shop. Melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, is raised when the sun goes down to indicate to our bodies that it’s time to rest. Make sure there is good air circulation in the room. If possible, open the windows before going to bed to let fresh air in.
Third, don't use your smartphone, or computer, or watch TV in bed. Studies recommend using your bedroom just for sleep and sex. Otherwise, your sleep schedule will go out of your control. Also, computer screens and phone screens confuse releasing melatonin. It’s always best to just not use those devices 1 hour before bedtime.
Fourth, use cotton or linen bedding, linen or cotton sheets, and linen or cotton duvet covers. They are made of natural flax. These fabrics do not irritate your skin. They allow it to breathe and regulate the heat of your body, naturally. These will help your body restore and repair itself naturally. Use a pillow between or underneath your legs. This will help to maintain the alignment of your back and improve your posture over time. It will also help those of you suffering from lower back pain. There is no perfect way to sleep, but your back will probably be in its best position as the pillow helps to maintain the alignment of your neck and spine.
Finally, have a nap when you feel you need it (Taheri et al., 2004). Napping is great. A short 20–30-minute nap lowers cortisol levels and is very healthy for the body. So, bring back a little bit of your childhood and do a quick cat nap if feeling tired mid-day!
Make good sleep your priority goal because sleep is essential to how we show up and function in the world. Make your sleep an exercise or discipline. Get used to sleeping 7-9 hours per night. No less than 7 and no more than 9 is the perfect amount. Invest in your wellbeing. Get the power of healthy and cozy sleep with UALinen’s handcrafted products.
Cappuccio, F. P., Taggart, F. M., Kandala, N. B., Currie, A., Peile, E., Stranges, S., & Miller, M. A. (2008). Meta-analysis of short sleep duration and obesity in children and adults. Sleep, 31(5), 619–626. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/31.5.619
Cohen, S., Doyle, W. J., Alper, C. M., Janicki-Deverts, D., & Turner, R. B. (2009). Sleep habits and susceptibility to the common cold. Archives of internal medicine, 169(1), 62–67. https://doi.org/10.1001/archinternmed.2008.505
Guadagni, V., Burles, F., Ferrara, M., & Iaria, G. (2014). The effects of sleep deprivation on emotional empathy. Journal of sleep research, 23(6), 657–663. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12192
Mah, C. D., Mah, K. E., Kezirian, E. J., & Dement, W. C. (2011). The effects of sleep extension on the athletic performance of collegiate basketball players. Sleep, 34(7), 943–950. https://doi.org/10.5665/SLEEP.1132
Taheri, S., Lin, L., Austin, D., Young, T., & Mignot, E. (2004). Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS medicine, 1(3), e62. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0010062
Tsuno, N., Besset, A., & Ritchie, K. (2005). Sleep and depression. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 66(10), 1254–1269. https://doi.org/10.4088/jcp.v66n1008
van der Helm, E., Gujar, N., & Walker, M. P. (2010). Sleep deprivation impairs the accurate recognition of human emotions. Sleep, 33(3), 335–342. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/33.3.335
Walker, M. P., Liston, C., Hobson, J. A., & Stickgold, R. (2002). Cognitive flexibility across the sleep-wake cycle: REM-sleep enhancement of anagram problem-solving. Brain research. Cognitive brain research, 14(3), 317–324. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0926-6410(02)00134-9
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