Hello Mr. Sandman
BY: Rhoanne Ramas • Sep 29, 2019
Sleep. It’s something that we look forward to after a hectic workday, right? Just the idea of a comfy bed and a soft pillow makes you want to fly out of the disastrous traffic and go straight home. According to the Sleep Foundation, sleep is an important indicator of a person’s wellbeing and health. Other than that, we apparently spend a third of our life sleeping.
Imagine that if the average lifespan of a human being were 80 years old, it would mean that we spend roughly, 26.67 years sleeping (and this is just a rough estimate). Of course, we know that lack of sleep is bad because it dulls our senses and decreases our functioning but did you know that too much sleep could also affect us negatively?
Tina Donvito listed in Reader’s Digest the negative effects of having too much sleep. According to the article, long sleep can be indicators of cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression and other health related issues. Like lack of sleep, it diminishes the quality of how our brain functions and can lead to back problems as well.
So, how are we able to rest well in a balanced manner? I mean, is there such a thing? Well the answer is yes! There is something that we call “sleep hygiene”. It is the things that we do in order to make sure that we have good sleeping habits.
Here are some of the practices we can try to have healthier sleeping habits based on the National Sleep Foundation:
- Have a sleep schedule and STICK TO IT. I know, it can be challenging especially when there are so much demands in life that 24 hours seems to be not enough, but having a set schedule regulates our body clock that enables us to fall and stay asleep for the night.
- Relaxing bedtime rituals. Our brains can still be on hyper mode after a long day and having a transition period before sleeping can help in lowering the stress and anxiety that could be hindrances to deep sleep.
- Exercise DAILY.
- Make your room an appropriate space for sleeping. Pillows, blankets, and mattress? Curtains? Noise?
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy meals in the evening. These might disrupt sleep or can cause discomfort that is why it is suggested to avoid eating heavy meals two hours before sleeping. If you really can’t help it, then a light snack, 45 minutes before sleeping is enough.
- Avoid electronic gadgets. The light that comes from the gadgets activates the brain thus hindering sleep. It is suggested that you distance yourself to your gadgets in order not to be tempted to use it before sleeping.
- If you are still having trouble sleeping after changing your sleeping habits, consult with a professional.
Sleep is an integral part of well-being. It enables us to recover from the tiresome activities we have during the day that is why it is important to make an effort to practice good sleep hygiene.