If someone told you that you could improve every area of your life with one fell swoop, you’d probably assume they were misleading you in order to sell you something because that sounds far too good to be true.
It turns out that it’s not. Your sleep impacts your health, immune system, weight, healing, memory, concentration, mood, appetite, hormone levels, energy, libido, ability to handle stress, work performance, and ability to learn new things.
Having each of these elements of your being optimized with good sleep can have a snowball effect: a stronger work performance, improved memory, good mood, ability to handle stress, and ability to learn new things can all result in a job extremely well done, meaning promotions and financial security.
Balanced hormones, the ability to handle stress, improved energy, concentration, and libido can result in being more patient and supportive to those you love when they need it most and more able to pick up on subtle cues that something is wrong improving your relationships.
Many people are intuitively aware of the benefits of proper sleep; only most aren’t sure what proper sleep actually means. People might wonder if they need to be sleeping for more hours or sleeping differently within the hours they already rest.
When it comes to sleep, both quality and quantity are important. The following will explore how these two sides of the same coin are related and how skimping on either one is a recipe for disaster.
The value of getting good sleep quantity
Scientists don’t fully understand all there is to know about sleep. They’re aware that people need it and that while people sleep, they are healing and storing memories from the day, but there are still many big question marks, including whether or not infant sleep serves a different purpose than adult sleep or why we dream. Despite this, researchers have found that length of sleep is crucial.
At the turn of the century, people were getting a lot more sleep than they are now. In 1910, the average American slept for nine hours each night. The average now is 6.8 hours. Studies have found that getting even one less hour of sleep per night increases a child’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Even if someone was getting the best quality sleep possible, they still need a reasonable amount of it for their body to complete the tasks it needs to do while a person is sleeping.
Importance of getting quality sleep
Of course, if someone is getting extremely poor sleep, it doesn’t matter how many hours of it they get; they’re going to be missing out on some crucial health processes. Things like blue light or devices in the bedroom, irregular sleeping habits, ingesting stimulants like caffeine and nicotine close to the bed, eating too close to bedtime, and feeling anxious can all result in poor and light sleep.
Sleeping surfaces are also important. It might be worth your while to search for new beds and mattresses in your area (most stores allow you to try them out before buying so you can see if they’re a good fit).
Enter your location and “beds” into a search engine to see what’s available close to you. For example, if you live in Dubai, you’d search Beds Dubai. It’s okay to take your time when searching for the right sleeping surface; in fact, it’s probably better.
Another crucial part of sleep quality is breath quality. It turns out that many people are breathing incorrectly. You should be taking deep, slow breaths through your nose, swelling your diaphragm in the process, before breathing out through your nose. You get 30% more oxygen when you breathe through your nose than through your mouth.
If you cannot do this because you’re congested, this is an indication that you have an issue that needs to be sorted out. You might be allergic to something you eat or drink all the time.
You might need to get some plants or an air filter because your room’s air is too polluted (indoor air is up to 3 times more polluted than outdoor air). You might just have developed poor breathing habits throughout your life.
Take the time to figure out why you can’t breathe through your nose and remedy the situation, even if it takes some time and practice. Please note that taking allergy medicine is alright for a short-term improvement, but it’s not actually fixing the problem; it’s only putting a bandaid on the symptoms.
Congestion should never be ignored (especially since good breathing is crucial for concentration, memory, and mood).
Other Things That Can Improve Sleep
In addition to tackling sleep quality and quantity as described above, there are some factors that can improve both of these areas simultaneously. Exercising in the day (not immediately before bed, though) can help you sleep better for longer, as can staying hydrated. If your body doesn’t have enough water, it won’t be able to optimally complete the basic functions it needs to while you sleep.
Likewise, you also want to work on addressing stressors in your life. Some stressors like caring for a sick loved one or having a really tough week at a job you love you might not want to completely remove.
You can cope with existing and necessary stressors by practicing meditation and prayer or by spending time in nature. Unnecessary stressors can often be gotten rid of by saying “no” to more people. Don’t take on more than you can reasonably fit in your day, week, or month. It’s not fair to you or the person you are agreeing to help out.
The above information has hopefully made it clear how crucial both sleep quantity and sleep quality are. Of course, sometimes, sleep problems are caused by underlying medical conditions.
If your sleep issues have appeared or worsened suddenly, it might be in your best interest to speak with a doctor, sleep specialist, or holistic healthcare practitioner. Sometimes your body communicates to you that there’s a problem via altering your sleeping habits and capabilities.