Having a good sleep is crucial for a healthy life and wellbeing. Read this article to know more about why sleep and health are closely related.
Almost everyone is stressed and already busy with a fix of life's untiring tasks. There is a lot of lacking behind when we look at our schedule and the calendar is always showing us dates ahead of what we are expecting. Who will have time to sleep enough in these moments of life? Many of us think it to be a waste of time if spent on sleeping.
But, we forget what sleep actually is and why we actually are lacking behind the schedules. Our whole body including the brain needs proper spells of a sound sleep and that too in a periodic way to work optimally and give us the best output as needed for us. Sleep is the key to fast reflexes, long term memory and remote usage of skills and knowledge. Success is the other name of balance in our sleep-wake cycle.
We forget in the hustle and bustle of modern life that keeping a balance in the sleep-wake cycle will make us more attentive and the work done will be more fruitful and quality oriented. Working hard is not needed, working smart is only needed in professional life. This can only be achieved through freshness from sound and peaceful sleep.
Chronobiologists describe the day and night (light and darkness) cycle to be present in the human body as circadian rhythm. It is based on the number of hours of daylight and the same for the night. Our body adjusts itself accordingly. The pineal gland in the brain secretes melatonin hormone in response to the night or darkness. Melatonin is implicated as the chief controller of the circadian rhythm. Not only humans but animals body systems also follow this cycle. That is why we should respect the call of the zoo management for evacuating the zoo after sunset so that all lights would be switched off to avoid disturbing the circadian rhythm of the animals.
If one does not get enough of the needed sleep, what may happen to them?
There will be no clarity of mind to help get better reflexes, learn new ideas, remember and apply learned skills and knowledge.
Lose temperament and easily get angry on minor happenings and feel depressed most of the time.
Fine motor skills get compromised, for example: handling machinery at work or driving a car.
The tired body becomes more vulnerable to illnesses and deranges your schedules.
Motivation is lost if they are deprived of sleep.
Loss of achievements and it makes you lack behind your peers.
Early to bed and early to rise. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time daily.
Keep a balanced regular physical activity from the very beginning of your life and remain active throughout life.
Food is for energy. Many foods give us instant energy, and if we eat near to the bed-time, it will cause difficulty in sleeping. Have dinner early and have a light one.
Darkness is the other name of sleep. God created darkness to tell our body that it is time for rest. Do not disrupt this natural balance of the body by watching television, using a smartphone and other bright lights at night. Your bedroom should be the least lit area of the home. Going into the bedroom itself will take you to sleep then.
Modern science has proved that people with loose clothes and in a properly maintained temperature environment sleep more comfortably.
Leave your worries outside the bedroom. Feel like passing through a filter paper when entering the bedroom from the living room.
Taking a shower after finishing all the tasks, will help your body realize that it is the time to relax and you will feel in a few days that your body muscles get flaccid and relaxed after taking a bed-time bath.
Go to bed only when you are feeling almost sleepy. Going to bed afresh mostly leads to bad sleep habits and you are more likely to remain awake longer. In such cases, I advise reading your favorite book, novel, digest, story, etc. It will be the second trigger for a bout of sleep to come and take you into a deep sleep. The moment you feel sleepy again, just leave the book and let yourself go to sleep at once. Some of my patients said it did not work. On asking, it came to my knowledge that they went astray while reading their favorite novel. It was so interesting that they forcibly kept themselves awake just to finish the novel and then were sitting sleeplessly on the bed once again after missing their second and most fruitful trigger of sleep.
There should not be any television, laptop, smartphone, tablet or any other gadget in the bedroom. Make it a lifetime rule.
For dinner, there should be no tea, coffee, beverages, energy drinks, alcohol, and cigarettes. They interfere with your sleep cycles.
If one needs to sleep in the day, do not sleep for longer than 20-25 minutes. It is better to take a nap on the sofa, recliner or any place where they will most probably be having interruption after some time. Longer naps make night's sleep of poor quality.
Writing down daily tasks on a whiteboard, paper or in a smartphone notes or worksheets at the start of the day makes the day easy. After the busy day, if some tasks are still left undone, write them down once again to take them off your mind. It will be a deed of responsibility, and our mind lets our body get relaxed easily if we show we are responsible and will not let our self-esteem down by just forgetting some important daily tasks.
Comfortable bedding, soft and super-fitting pillows, darkness, no noises, and proper room temperature are some of the ideal necessities for a sound sleep.
The number of sleep hours needed for an average human being is between 6 and 9 per 24 hours. But it is not only the number of hours needed to sleep. Quality sleep matters a lot. Reason for a poor quality sleep may be snoring, anxiety, depression, tension headache, migraine, temporal arteritis, glaucoma, uncontrolled diabetes leading to polyuria (frequent urination) and nocturia (waking at night to urinate), hypertension, pain in the body, etc.
If one cannot get up easily in the morning, unable to focus on important tasks of daily life, or are lacking behind their peers, the reason may be sleep deprivation. It is advised to try out the tips mentioned above and it is believed to work better and will definitely provide better sleep and will provide everyone a chance to excel in their life.
Getting enough restful sleep and exercising daily are essential for maintaining excellent health. While carrying out vital physiological and psychological processes that impact physical and mental health. Sleep enables the body to recover and replenish energy.
A chronic sleep disorder called narcolepsy is characterized by extreme daytime sleepiness and unexpected sleep bouts. Regardless of the situation, people with narcolepsy frequently struggle to stay awake for extended periods. As a result, your everyday routine may be severely disrupted by narcolepsy.
The circadian rhythms in all organs are controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus serves as a series of relays for the wake-sleep systems, signaling them to time their activity with the day-night cycles. This is how SCN mainly affects sleep.
Although individual sleep requirements can differ, experts generally advise healthy adults to get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. If you frequently require more than eight hours or nine hours of sleep each night to feel rested, it could indicate a deeper issue.
An individual's level of satisfaction with every component of their sleep experience is considered their level of sleep quality. The four characteristics of good sleep include the following-
- Sleep efficiency.
- Sleep latency.
- Sleep duration.
- Waking up after the onset of sleep.
One must decide when one needs to wake up to set a bedtime goal. Then, determine how many hours of sleep they require by counting backward. For example-
- School-going kids should go to bed between 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM.
- Teenagers should aim to go to bed between 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM.
- Adults should aim to go to bed between 10:00 PM and 11.00 PM.
Sleep is crucial for a variety of critical processes, such as growth, energy conservation, brain waste elimination, modulation of immunological responses, cognition, performance, vigilance, sickness, and psychological state.
The quality of sleep can be impacted by poor sleep hygiene. Some additional elements are:
- Sleeping environment.
- Irregular sleep schedule.
- Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol.
- Mental health disorders.
- Sleep disorders.
- Other elements like food, daytime activity level, travel plans, and other aches or illnesses may also be affected by sleep quality.
The term "long sleeping" or hypersomnia refers to excessive sleeping. About 2 % of people have this problem. Hypersomniacs may need up to 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night to feel fresh.
Once the lights go out, the pineal gland, which is situated between the two hemispheres of the brain, gets signals from the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and boosts the production of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin levels fluctuate throughout time for the body's circadian rhythm to sync with the natural cycle of light and darkness.
Adults who sleep for fewer than seven hours a night are more likely to report having health issues, such as asthma attacks, heart attacks, and depression. In addition, the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke is increased by some of these medical conditions.
Simple things like not getting enough sleep or contracting a cold or the flu might make you feel tired. But underlying medical issues can also be the reason for it. Here are a few potential causes of constant fatigue-
- Low-quality sleep.
- Nutrient deficiencies and dietary imbalances.
- Certain medical conditions or medications.
- Consuming too much caffeine.
- Inadequate hydration.
- A sedentary lifestyle.
- Drug and alcohol dependence.
Snoring can result from the adverse effects of stress on the body. The brain responds to stress by releasing chemicals like norepinephrine and cortisol throughout the day. These hormones can disrupt the sleep cycle and cause people to become tenser, making it difficult to get a good night's sleep.
Last reviewed at:
27 Jul 2022 - 4 min read
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