Sleep deprivation has a significant effect on how you feel, think, and act. According to the findings of researchers from Bradley University in Illinois, cognitive performance is more affected by sleep deprivation than motor performance. Research shows that our moods are much more affected than both cognitive and motor performance by sleep deprivation.
Chronic and acute sleep deprivation have been proven to interact with circadian rhythms. Our body maintains its physiological processes in a 24-hour cycle. When the circadian phases misalign due to sleep deprivation, we’re not able to pay attention. We’re too tired and unfocused to make good decisions. Needless to say, our leadership skills are being seriously affected. I have found 6 tips that may be able to help you get a good, healthy deep sleep.
1. Stick to a Schedule
When your body falls outside of its rhythm, your mind doesn’t know when it’s time for action and when it’s time for rest. You need to turn sleep into a habit. Plan to sleep no less than 7 and not more than 9 hours each night; that’s the recommended sleep range for healthy adults by the National Sleep Foundation.
The logical thing to do is to go to sleep when you feel like it, right? Well, that’s not how it works. If you fall asleep in front of the TV too early in the evening, you’ll have trouble staying asleep. You’ll probably wake up in an hour or two, you’ll have a snack, and you’ll go to your bedroom. By that point, your mind is absolutely confused.
Try going to sleep at the same time every evening and waking up at the same time in the morning.
- Create a Good Sleeping Environment
What’s the ideal sleeping environment? It’s a dark, quiet, and cool room.
Why dark? Your body and mind were designed to rest at night. If you’re taking night shifts, you have to create a dark environment with room-darkening shades. Otherwise, the light will tell your mind it’s time for action.
Why quiet? Music, sounds from the TV, or noise from outside won’t let you sleep no matter how relaxed it may make you feel while you’re awake. Turn off the TV. If you can’t control the noise from outside, get earplugs. If you feel like you NEED music or TV to fall asleep, start setting timers on your Pandora or your TV settings.
Why cool? In order to initiate sleep, your system needs lower temperatures. In general, the suggested temperature to maintain in the bedroom is between 60 and 67 degrees.
- Don’t Take Long Naps
When you’re too tired throughout the day, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can be very beneficial. That can even fix the damage of nighttime sleep deprivation. If you sleep longer than 30 minutes, however, you’ll wake up groggy.
Limit your naps and don’t take them when it’s almost bedtime.
- Get Proper Sleeping Props
Many people underestimate the importance of a good mattress and a pillow. These “sleeping props.” affect the posture of your spine and neck. If your position is not comfortable, it’s no wonder why you’re not getting a good sleep.
Get a good, spacious bed with a high-quality mattress suitable to your needs and pick a great pillow. You’ll immediately notice a difference.
In one research study, the individuals who exercised reported reduction in daytime sleepiness and improved sleep efficiency.
What’s the best time to exercise? In the morning. When you wake up, your body feels stiff and your mind needs some time to get active. With exercise, you energize your entire system. If you’re physically active late in the evening, you’ll feel more awake. Timing is important.
One study showed that the individuals who completed a mindfulness meditation program experienced less fatigue, insomnia, and depression in comparison to the half that completed a sleep education class that taught them ways to improve their sleep habits.
Meditation is a powerful tool for controlling the mind. Find a good course and learn how to meditate. It will make a huge difference.
You know you need a healthy and deep sleep. The only problem is: sometimes you’re not able to get it. You go to bed convinced that you’ll have a nice rest. Still, your mind won’t leave you alone. There is a way to fix that. Try some of all of the recommendations listed above and share your experience.
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Hillary Hope is a freelance writer in Assignment Masters who specializes also in digital marketing. She has many years of experience in writing about family, parenting tips, health and lifestyle topics.