Who doesn’t like sleep? Sleep replenishes your energy, releases valuable hormones, affects your mood and relaxes your body. Approximately 70 million people suffer from sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep can have a major effect on your immune system.
If you are tired, stressed or depressed, your body is weakened, your metabolism is impaired and invading bacteria or viruses can enter your body because your body’s defense mechanisms are down. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can lead to:
Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night, but sleep varies with every person based on lifestyle, diet, heredity and health issues. The key is to reduce your stress.
melsSleepSteps to getting a good night's sleep:
- Make sure your bedroom is comfortable and your bed is even more comfortable. Find the right sheets, pillows and blankets for you. The atmosphere in your room is critical. You need to feel comfortable and free of life’s clutter. No computers, books, magazines, or any kind of work. Your room should be cool, dark and quiet. If not, listen to music and put on eye shades (to block out any light). Your body needs to calm down and decompress.
- Shower or bathe just before bedtime
- Wear whatever is comfortable for you. Some people wear nothing at all
- Stick to a sleep schedule – changing sleep schedules or sleeping late throws your body’s rhythms out of sync
- Don’t have any caffeinated drinks after late morning
- Exercise a minimum of between five and six hours before bedtime
- Avoid alcohol – initially it’s a good stress reliever but once the sedating effects have passed, you will be wide awake (and probably have to go to the bathroom)
- Avoid nicotine – any kind of smoking or chewing tobacco
- Don’t eat or drink at least 3 hours before bedtime – a meal can cause indigestion and fluids will affect your bladder
- If you sleep near a noisy person, get ear plugs
I’m not a big fan of sleeping pills, but over 40 million people use prescription insomnia drugs to assist them in getting a good night’s sleep. Consult your doctor and understand the benefits and risks of taking this kind of medication.