How much sleep do you get on an average night? Unfortunately, the answer is probably not enough. According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, “A recent survey found that more people are sleeping less than six hours a night, and sleep difficulties visit 75% of us at least a few nights per week.” That isn’t good, in fact, it’s very bad. There’s no way to place enough of an emphasis on how important it is to get enough sleep. In this edition of Winning Back to School, I’m going to explain the importance of sleep and some tips for how to make sure you’re getting enough rest.
Health Benefits and Risks of Sleep
1) Sleep improves your ability to learn and remember information.
2) Lack of sleep negatively impacts your metabolism and can lead to weight gain.
3) Poor sleep is linked to depression.
4) Lack of sleep negatively affects all emotional and social interactions.
5) Sleep is the best investment you can make in yourself and your health.
Tips for Better Sleep
1) Decrease your exposure to light an hour before sleeping.
2) Don’t consume caffeine late in the day.
3) Go to sleep and wake up at consistent times.
4) Make sure to sleep in a quiet and darkroom.
5) Don’t eat right before bed.
6) Exercise during the day.
7) Limit napping during the day.
8) Create a bedtime routine.
9) Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.
How to Nap
Taking naps have been proven to have a number of positive effects on health including relaxation, reducing fatigue, increased assertiveness, and improved mood. However, taking naps is a little more complicated than one would think.
1) It is very important to keep naps under 30 minutes. If you sleep for longer than 30 minutes you may enter too deep of sleep and feel groggy afterward.
2) Nap earlier in the day, and definitely not after around 3pm, otherwise, it might interfere with your sleep at night.
3) Commit to the nap. Laying in bed on your phone will just make you more tired and be counterproductive.