Be Happy, Feel Beautiful
With our busy lives constantly pulling us in all different directions, sleep is often put at the end of our priority list. The amount of hours of sleep we get every night depends on our individual daily schedules. I’m sure we would all love so be in bed by 10:00 p.m., but when to-do lists get longer, sleep time gets cut short. The recommended hours for sleep ranges between 7-9 hours. To be able to enjoy a happy and energized day, you must carefully calculate your shuteye time. But let’s be honest, how many of us actually get our recommended hours of sleep in? The truth is that sleep is dependent on a lot of factors in our lives.
Sleep: Understanding how it works.
Many of us believe that sleep is just when the body shuts down for the day. The truth is that your body doesn’t shut down at all. While you rest, your brain stays active, overseeing a wide variety of biological maintenance tasks that keep you running in top condition and prepare you for the day ahead. It is similar to charging your phone at night. You charge yourself for the next day by sleeping. Without enough hours of restorative sleep, you won’t be able to work, learn, create and communicate at a level even close to your true potential.
Understanding the 24-hour-sleep-cycle
Your internal 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, otherwise known as the biological clock, is regulated by processes in the brain that respond to how long you’ve been awake. At night, your body responds to the loss of daylight by producing melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. During the day, sunlight triggers the brain to inhibit melatonin production so you feel awake and alert.
Pay off your sleeping debt.
During the week it is always harder to get sleep. So, on the weekend we tend to “catch up” on sleep. But as it turns out, bouncing back from lack of sleep isn’t that easy. One or two solid nights of sleep aren’t enough to pay off a long-term debt. While extra sleep can give you a temporary boost (for example, you may feel great on Monday morning after a relaxing weekend), your performance and energy will slowly decrease as you go about your day.
Making sleep a priority. Just as you schedule time for work, outings and other commitments, you should schedule enough time for sleep. Instead of cutting back on sleep in order to tackle the rest of your daily tasks, put sleep at the top of your to-do list.
Reasons why you’re losing sleep. The most damaging effects of sleep deprivation are from inadequate deep sleep. Deep sleep is a time when the body repairs itself and builds up energy for the day ahead. It plays a major role in maintaining your health, stimulating growth and development, repairing muscles and tissues, and boosting your immune system. In order to wake up energized and refreshed, getting quality deep sleep is key. But sometimes, our deep sleep time is interrupted, by several reasons including:
Is it possible to sleep too much?
Yes, it is sometimes caused by hypersomnia . Oversleeping has been linked to problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and an increased chance of death from other problems. Along with physical health problems, oversleeping is also linked to neurological problems like depression and low socioeconomic status. About 15 percent of people who oversleep also suffer from depression. It is commonly known that neurological problems like depression can negatively affect other areas of a person’s health.
So, how much sleep do you really need?
According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult sleeps less than 7 hours per night. In today’s fast-paced society, 6 or 7 hours of sleep may sound pretty good. In reality, it’s a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation. While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.
Sleep is an important factor in our lives. You wouldn’t put off eating because you want to hang out with your friends, or finish a project would you? Getting a healthy amount of sleep every day is essential to being a happier and better functioning Belle.