The dog days of summer are upon us. With June 20th, the first official day, come and gone, summer is in full swing. In the summer, we typically find ourselves more exhausted – we’re working hard and the heat is getting to us. This summer is no different with temps reaching 96 degrees and work days feeling longer and longer. The days are in fact getting longer which means that SLEEP is extra important. The right amount of sleep is crucial for clearer thinking, a better mood, and overall health.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING SLEEP
While you are sleeping, your body is busy taking care of you – your physical and mental health. Throughout the night, we alternate every 90 minutes between non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and REM sleep. What’s especially cool about REM sleep is our dreams; they occur during these cycles. It is very important for our memory, emotional regulation and continued development.
Unfortunately, when you are sleep deprived, your cognitive abilities and emotional state are lacking. Suffering from chronic sleep deprivation can lead to problems with coordination and decision-making abilities. Additionally, lack of sleep dumbs you down, makes you forgetful and ages your skin. Severe sleep deprivation can also lead to delirium (complete disorientation) and depression.
Now enough with the negatives – there are amazing health benefits when you are getting enough sleep every night. Besides general better health, these benefits specifically include better weight control, mood and memory. With the right amount of sleep, you’ll even build strong immunity to getting sick and lower your stress levels. All of these benefits sound wonderful to me. Now, how can I get the best sleep possible?
Well, here is our list of the best tips for a good night sleep:
- DISCONNECT. When you are getting ready for bed, put your phone, computer and any other electronics away. Instead of looking at screens before bed, try reading a book to relax you and help you better prepare for a good night’s sleep.
- ROUTINE. Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time during the week – and on the weekends, too.
- EXERCISE. Exercise regularly. This will help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.
- COMFORT. Create a room that is ideal for sleeping. Sleep with a comfortable mattress, pillow and blanket.
- AWARENESS. Pay attention to what you eat and drink before bed. You don’t want to go to bed stuffed, but you also don’t want to go to bed hungry. For even better sleep, abstain from alcohol use.
Our hope is that these tips will provide you with the wonderful AND restful summer that you deserve. Happy sleeping!
If you would like to read more about sleep, stress, feeling balanced, and finding time to relax, please click on the links and make sure to follow The Viva Center blog.