Why do we need to sleep well?
Many of us have tried to shorten our sleep time owing to partying or because of too much homework or tasks in your job. And I reckon you probably found out that sacrificing your sleep isn’t the best solution, especially in terms of your productivity. To be honest with you, it turns out that it might be even the factor number one when it comes to the reasons why we don’t reach our true potential. So why should you learn to sleep well?
The answer may seem to be too obvious for many of you, but let’s look at the facts. You might be surprised how many benefits could a good sleep pattern bring to your life. Our bodies need high-quality sleep as much as any smartphone battery needs electricity. That means literally every day and it takes a certain amount of time. You cannot fasten it. Or can you?
We all should try to sleep in the best way possible. Why is high-quality sleep so important to us? Our bodies need to sleep well in order to use that time for a lot of important life-prolonging processes. The common aim of every single sleep time is to rebuild our muscles, refresh our brain, regulate our metabolism, give the time to some of our organs to calm down and make us feel energetic around the time we get up. As Thomas Frank proclaims, “high-quality sleep is also essential as an integral part of our learning process.”
Despite the fact we face more problems today, we sleep less than ever
According to a bbc capital story regarding the topic about the lack of sleep, people around the world several decades ago used to sleep about an hour and a half more than we sleep now. “Back in the 1940s people were sleeping on average just a little bit over eight hours a night, and now in the modern age we’re down to around 6.7, 6.8 hours a night,” said Matt Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.
But why is that?
The reason standing behind the huge reduction of sleep time is mainly our exposure to all electronic appliances. The time we are actually unplugged cannot be reduced otherwise than by cutting down on our sleep time. And unfortunately, we are great in that. An increased exposure to electronic devices is the biggest problem for us when trying to cope with issues in sleeping patterns. The screens of our devices are constantly emitting the infamous “blue light”. An exposure to the blue light can dramatically reduce the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that helps you with falling asleep. Another reason why we sleep less is the temperature. What I specifically mean is a higher temperature. Our bodies are not designed to sleep in 25 degrees. If you would like to get some insight and learn how to sleep better, you’re on the right page!
How long should I sleep?
Sleep about 7-9 hours. No more, no less. The balance is the key. If you sleep more, you will probably feel especially tired despite the duration. And if you sleep less than 7 hours, you will be on maximum of 70% of your energy the next day. No matter how hard you will try during the day, you won’t be able to reach your full potential. Your potential for that day would be 70%. The lack of sleep is often behind many health problems. It harms your body and brain as well. Even if you don’t suffer any pain or problems. Be sure that if you sacrifice your sleep time your body won’t magically sustain it.
First things first. You should start your sleeping pattern by preparing yourself for it. As it goes with everything in life, the right preparation is the key to effectiveness. It turns out that our bodies need ideally about 45 minutes before we go to sleep for its preparation on it. How should our proper preparation look?
Design your room and unplug yourself
By designing your room. I mean that you should avoid putting your phone into a charger anywhere near. It turns out that just the presence of the appliance makes our sleep less deep. Hence the best place for your smartphone overnight charging is anywhere else than in your room. It is a remarkable difference that you can easily make by giving up your phone during your night. When you sleep close to your phone you are staying online in some way. When you wake up in the middle of the night, the first thing you think of is to check your phone. And guess what, it distracts you a lot! You need to keep the calm vibes. You don’t want to be in a constant emergency checking whether somebody mentioned you in the comments or if you’ve got another “important” email notification. This is supposed to be your time, so don’t neglect yourself. Be fully aware of the precious time you’ve got and just fall asleep again. Anything will wait until the next morning. Stop with the sleep procrastination. You want to sleep, don’t you?
Even your bed could be customized. You won’t believe how big difference can make switching your pillow or simply changing your mattress.
Another essential step towards a better sleep is to make your room as dark as possible.
The old truth is that our environment is the key and often, the answer to many questions. Try making your room as dark, quiet and cool as possible. Hell yeah, my room is cool as hell! No, friends, that’s not the thing.
Temperature plays a huge role
Did you write cool?! According to the national sleep foundation the optimal temperature for sleeping is between 16 – 19 Celsius degrees. Believe me, they know what they’re doing! You will never be sleeping the same again. Try this one immediately and you’ll never regret.
Get yourself a warmer shower. The colder would make you feel more awake, so instead try the warmer one. It has relaxing effect on your muscles. It also calms down your brain. When you are in a warm shower, your body begins with relaxation in general. You feel naturally calmer and you realize how much tired you actually are. That is the ideal state to get yourself into a sleeping mode.
Another great hack is to drink something warmer before going to the bed. Especially a glass of milk or a cup of herbal tea (like luke herb). It helps your body slow down a bit and the temperature difference between your body and the room gets bigger so it’s actually easier to fall asleep.
The same principle goes with the late exercising. Just don’t do that too late. If you can avoid it, avoid it. It’s as simple as that. Try working hard in your mornings and leave your relaxation time to the evenings. You’ll get rid of plenty of problems closely linked with your sleeping patterns.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule
This one is huge! What it means is that you should focus yourself to the exact same times when you want to be sleeping and repeat it every single day. Your body will naturally get used to that cycle and you’ll feel much better very soon. Furthermore, you’ll never need an alarm clock anymore! That’s a great thing to get rid of it. Once you’ll get used to the effective sleeping pattern like this, you probably won’t have a single problem regarding your sleep.
“I am so good at sleeping that I can do it with my eyes closed.” anonymous
Read in your bed
Reading before falling asleep is one of the best activities you can actually practice. Not only you’ll get some useful information and educate yourself a bit, additionally after a while of doing so you’ll exhaust your eyes quicker and let yourself in a sleeping mood smoothly. Try just a few pages, you’ll spot the difference immediately.
“Sleep is the best meditation.” Dalai Lama
When it comes to the meditation, it kind of sounds like a cliche. However, it doesn’t have to be about hours of sitting and looking at the candle. You are in control, you are the director of your “inner time”. You can do it your own way. When meditating, there is no bad or unprofessional way of practicing it. You meditate for yourself and you practice it the way it works for you. So don’t be afraid of it!
What about coffee?
Coffee is absolutely perfect if you use it the right way. That is the way that works for you. Personally, I can’t drink coffee after 3 pm. I wouldn’t fall asleep that day if I did so. However, this is very individual, so I leave it completely up to you and your habits. Nevertheless, the general truth is that if you are not used to drinking a cup of coffee especially later during the day, you can experience some problems with your sleeping pattern. Caffeine stays in your body alert roughly for the minimum of 6 hours. So it really could be the reason standing behind your sleeplessness.
If you can’t fall asleep, just let it be
Do not focus yourself too much on your sleep. I mean do not try to force it. Whatever you force too much in your life seems to not work well because of that. Just remember this tip. You can save a lot of energy by accepting the reality. If your body doesn’t want to fall asleep, then just let it be and don’t concentrate yourself too much on it. Let yourself enjoy your time and fall asleep effortlessly when you’ll become truly exhausted. Just listen to your body and trust it!
Lecture of the day:
Your quality of sleep is the determinant of your mood, level of energy and has the power to make you both healthier or more prone to the health problems. The amount of time you sleep plus the quality of it decides about your upcoming day. Try to sleep around 8 hours. When it comes to the sleeping process, focus on your preparation first. Try to concentrate yourself on your sleeping environment. Decorate your room in a way that works for you. Make it dark, cool and quiet. Try boosting your chances to fall asleep by drinking hot milk or a cup of herbal tea, not exercising too late, reading a book, switching off all the appliances, not drinking a coffee too late or meditating. Basically calm yourself and set the mood of sleeping. Last but not least, schedule yourself the time of your sleeping pattern. If you make from it a habit, you’ll never ever need any alarm clock. And remember, don’t force yourself too much. Do it effortlessly.
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