Sleep has been long known to have an invaluable impact on your life, yet the intricacies of sleep are still being investigated for its effects on practically all systems of the body. Current research indicates how sleep is connected to various factors of physical, mental and emotional health, such as:
- Improved memory function
- Enhanced problem-solving skills
- Enhanced creativity
- Better decision making
- Strengthened immune system
- Improved heart health
- Maintenance of healthy body weight
- Better mood
- Greater productivity
- Enhanced athletic performance
There are several ways to improve the quality of sleep so that you can fully harness all of the positives that come along it:
- Set aside enough time for sleep – recommended durations of sleep various between each person, but by following an approximate minimum 7hrs of sleep, this ensure for being well rested
- Consistent sleep times – by following a consistent and regular sleep schedule, this will maintain the pattern of the body’s internal clock, and assist in helping you fall asleep and wake up more easily.
- Create a good sleep environment – Getting bright light during the daytime strengthens your biological rhythms that promote alertness during work and sleep at the end of your day. So when it gets to the time to sleep, creating a sleep environment this is dark, quiet, cool and comfortable will create the most optimal sleep quality.
- Check your intake – the consumption of certain food and drinks prior to sleep are known to disturb the quality of your sleep. So avoid things like heavy or spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and chocolate at least 3 hours before sleep to avoid sleep disturbances
- Prepare for sleep – Ensure to follow a relaxing routine 1.5hrs before bedtime by avoiding bright lighting, white light exposure from screens (read a book instead!) and overstimulation from sources like video games.