Between school, work and a social life who has time for sleep? It is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep every night, but with all the responsibilities and stress we have, sometimes just trying to fall asleep can be difficult. Creating healthy sleep habits are important as there are many health consequences as a result of sleep deprivation. Research has shown that sleep deprivation impairs a person’s concentration, creativity, problem solving skills, decision-making, mood and motivation. In addition, lack of sleep compromises one’s immune system making them more susceptible to colds, flu or other infections. So the next time you’re thinking about pulling an all- nighter, think about the short and long term effects on your body. The following are some tips on how to get a better night’s sleep:
· Take a nap: Naps can help pick you up and make you work more efficiently, if you plan them right. Naps that are too long or too close to bedtime can interfere with your regular sleep.
· Exercise does a body good: Exercise has so many health benefits. Just be sure not to exercise too close to bedtime. A good workout can energize you making it more difficult to fall asleep.
· Be aware of your caffeine intake: Many foods and beverages have a surprising amount of caffeine which can greatly affect your ability to fall and stay asleep.
· Create the right space: Make your room a sleep haven. Keep it at a comfortable temperature, quiet and dark. If you need to, get eyeshades or blackout curtains. Let in bright light in the morning to signal your body to wake up.
· Create a bedtime ritual: By doing the same things every night before you go to sleep, you teach your body the signals that it’s time for bed.