Sleep is an essential part of life. Sleeping well enables us to function properly during our waking hours by restoring our energy and boosting our immunity, performance and productivity, among many other benefits.
However, today’s dynamic environment demands our constant attention with our need to keep up with an overwhelming amount of information while pursuing our life goals, whether that would be passing our major exams, searching for our dream job or running our own business.
Consequently, we end up sleeping less than we are supposed to. In fact, a regional survey has found that Malaysians only sleep for an average of 6.4 hours compared to the recommended average of eight hours.
Even if we sleep in for a single long period, different research has shown that quality trumps over quantity, as oversleeping plus frequent tossing and turning in bed can still affect our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing negatively.
Therefore, having quality sleep is important for overall good health and life. If you are having trouble sleeping, here are a few ways for you to get that needed slumber at night.
Maintain a sleep/wake routine
Start by keeping to a regular sleep/wake schedule that is going to bed and rising up at a set time consistently for a certain period, even on weekends. The number of sleeping hours varies among individuals, but generally, adults tend to sleep between six and nine hours every night.
When done right, your biological clock will eventually be programmed to your bedtime routine, thereby allowing you to have enough sleep constantly.
Learn to wind down
Stress due to your need to sleep will make it harder for you to actually get any. As such, relaxation is vital before going to bed. Some of the ways to wind down include reading a light wattage book, listening to soothing music, doing light stretches and performing deep breathing.
It is advisable to avoid excessive caffeine, alcohol and nicotine at night as they stimulate the body, thus preventing you from getting proper rest.
Stay away from your gadgets
In the same regional survey, Internet addiction was among the major causes of Malaysians being sleep deprived, with those interviewed stating that their online activities and social networking were hindering them from getting enough sleep and physical activities.
Considering how accessible the Internet has become, make it a habit to put your mobile devices away at least an hour before bed to have quality sleep, as bright lights coming from these gadgets can trigger our brains to remain awake and alert.
Seek medical advice
If you are still unable to sleep properly, speak to a doctor or a sleep expert. It is important to discover any underlying problems – insomnia or sleep apnoea, for instance – and get them treated before they worsen.
Keeping a sleep diary – where you regularly jot down habits and activities that could cause your sleeplessness – would be extremely helpful for your doctor to diagnose your condition better so that you can get the sleep you deserve.
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This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2fpZPyC