We are usually concerned and well-invested in our personal hygiene – we take showers, brush our teeth, but we often overlook another kind of hygiene, that is to say, our sleeping hygiene. According to the Centers and Disease Control Prevention, about 50-70 million adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder.
With the increasing demands of work, school and home, people nowadays overlook the importance of a good night’s rest. We have become a society of night-owls working away on our laptops to finish the project before the deadline – with more than three cups of coffee in our system. We could also be forced to work the night shift because of the struggling economy and employment scarcity. We could also be out with friends having the time of our lives. Regardless of the reason why we neglect sleep, we need to realize the consequences of bad sleeping habits.
Photo by Ambro
The Centers and Disease Control Prevention also conducted a study that showed the negative effects of unhealthy sleep, such as the inability to concentrate on work or remember things. Some effects were much more dangerous than others like dozing off while driving.
So how does the sleep cycle work? According to The University of Maryland Medical Center website, there are two states of sleep, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non-Rapid Eye Movement (Non-REM sleep,) with several stages within each state. Adult sleep is usually made up of 80 percent Non-REM sleep and 20 percent REM sleep. While Non-REM sleep works to recharge the body after a long day’s work, dreams occur during the REM sleep state when memories and thoughts are processed.
Just as how we differ in sleeping positions, we also differ in how much sleep we need. Though we normally need about seven to eight hours of shut-eye, these hours vary from person to person and it depends on him or her to determine how much sleep he or she needs.
Frankly, it is difficult to accommodate a healthy sleeping pattern in our busy schedules. However, we should at least try to give our body the rest it really needs and deserves.
The University of Maryland Medical Center website has some useful tips on how to get a good night’s rest: Try to sleep at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, try to avoid naps during the day if you can, try not to drink anything that has alcohol or caffeine several hours before bedtime, try to avoid large meals before sleeping and lastly, try to exercise regularly during the day.
Hopefully, these tips will help you sleep like a baby and if not then, I personally recommend listening to some soothing music or nature sounds like waves and rain before heading to bed.
Feature Photo by Graur Codrin