WHY IS SLEEP IMPORTANT?

Poor sleep is linked to: 

  • Poor sleep is linked to increased appetite and poor appetite regulation. The levels of appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin increase and the levels of leptin (appetite-suppressing hormone) decreases.
  • Poor sleep leads to weight gain. The effect of sleep on weight gain is dependent on a lot of factors like lack of motivation to exercise, hormone activity, etc. So if you are trying to lose weight, then sleep plays a crucial role. 
  • Sleep has an impact on our brain functioning, and good sleep has positive effects on our productivity, concentration and performance. 
  • Poor sleep impairs your immune function, therefore good sleep helps to improve your immunity and the ability of the body to fight infections like the common cold.
  • Poor sleep can activate markers of cell damage and inflammation. 
  • Poor sleep negatively affects insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels.

How to sleep better :

Adequate sleep is linked to less stress, improved memory, heart health and also weight loss. Sleep hygiene is very important so keep a check on your caffeine intake and follow these tips to sleep better naturally without any medication. 

1. Follow a fixed sleep routine: If you don’t follow a fixed bedtime and wake up time, it affects your biological clock and causes sleep problems. A fixed schedule helps to establish your internal clock, and you tend to sleep better.

2. Exercise: Any form of exercise helps to improve your sleep quality. People who don’t exercise often have trouble sleeping. 

3. Dietary Changes: Cut out your caffeine intake post-mid-afternoon to sleep better. Avoid foods like coffee, soft drinks, tea and chocolates before bedtime. Avoid spicy foods as they tend to cause indigestion or heartburn.

4. Avoid Smoking: Nicotine has a stimulative effect and smoking is linked to worsening breathing disorders like asthma and disturbs restful sleep.

5. Sleep in a dark room: Small amounts of light from your computer or phone can cause disturbance to the quality of your overall sleep and production of melatonin that helps regulate your sleep cycle.

6. Avoid alcohol: Alcohol disrupts your brainwaves and sleep pattern that makes you feel fresh in the morning.

7. Avoid distractions on the bed: Avoid watching television, eating and working on your bed.

8. Room temperature matters: As it helps reduce your core body temperature, sleep faster and get a good deep sleep as well. 

9. Have your own sleeping space: People who sleep with their pets and children usually have trouble getting a good sleep at night. If possible, try having your own sleeping space without any disturbances. 

10. No gadget rule 1 hour before sleeping: To get a sound and quick sleep avoid using any kind of electronic items like phone, computers, laptop, television, etc. as the light from all these devices causes stimulation in the brain and makes it harder to sleep at night. 

Taking care of your sleep quality is very important. The duration and quality of sleep can have major effects on your heart health. People who sleep less than 7 hours/night have an increased risk of stroke and heart disease. Good nutrition, regular exercise and taking care of your sleep quality is important to achieve optimal health and fitness levels. 

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