Last Updated on January 7, 2023 by Sandra Allens
Time is precious, and it’s easy to sacrifice sleep in order to get things done. Whether you need to study for a test or finish a work project, cutting back on sleep can seem like the only option. But those lost hours add up and lead to decreased productivity. When you don’t get enough rest, it becomes harder to stay focused during the day.
Effects of Stress
Sleep deprivation affects millions of Americans for various reasons, such as poor sleeping habits or medication side effects. Stress plays a major role when it comes to getting enough rest. The American Psychological Association reports that people with high levels of stress tend to get less than seven hours of sleep each night and often wake throughout the night. This is because feeling overwhelmed before bed disrupts our body’s ability to shut down and relax.
When we experience negative emotions, cortisol — or the fight-or-flight hormone — is produced in higher amounts by our bodies. Cortisol increases heart rate and blood pressure while tensing certain muscles, resulting in difficulty calming down enough for sleep.
Sleep and Time
Managing your time can prevent sacrificing needed sleep in order to complete tasks like projects or studying for exams. Not getting enough rest leads to higher cortisol levels and less melatonin production, making it harder for us to fall asleep at night. Melatonin maintains our circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) by being highest at night while its production lowers during the day; this helps us prepare for restful sleep but higher cortisol levels interfere with melatonin’s function. Furthermore, without sufficient sleep we become more prone to stress which further prevents us from sleeping well.
Managing Your Time
To ensure better productivity throughout the day, try managing your time instead of cutting back on much-needed restful sleep. This will create a healthy balance between family obligations, friends, work responsibilities, and quality slumber time; getting enough rest gives you more energy throughout the day in addition to allowing your brain time to store new information from the previous day as memory and make room for newer data intake – something that cannot be accomplished without proper rest. To best manage your time each day: create a plan for yourself and stick with it; prioritize what needs doing first; and recognize that taking care of yourself should be top priority since sleep is essential in learning, completing tasks, reaching goals, and staying productive.
Sleep is essential for a healthy body and mind. Unfortunately, many of us don’t get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of rest each night. Lack of sleep can have serious consequences on our overall health and well-being, such as physical problems, cognitive impairment, and increased stress levels.
But how do we make sure that we get enough sleep? Here are some tips to help you achieve better sleep quality:
Establish a Regular Sleep Schedule
Having a regular sleep schedule is an important part of getting adequate rest. Going to bed at the same time every night helps your body establish a natural rhythm, which makes it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up in the morning. It’s also best to avoid sleeping in on weekends – although it may seem tempting to catch up on lost sleep, this can actually have a negative effect on your sleep cycle.
Avoid Certain Foods Before Bed
Certain foods can interfere with your ability to fall asleep due to their high sugar, fat and spice content. Eating these types of foods right before bedtime can make it harder for your body to digest them while trying to prepare for sleep. To ensure that you get the best possible rest, try avoiding these types of foods before bedtime.
Reduce Stress Levels
Stress is one of the leading causes of insomnia or difficulty falling asleep at night. To help reduce stress levels before bedtime, practice relaxation techniques such as yoga or deep breathing exercises. You may also find it helpful to set aside some “worry time” during the day – this means allocating time specifically for worrying or reflecting on stressful events so that you don’t ruminate over them when trying to relax before bedtime.
Reduce Screen Time Before Bed
Using electronic devices such as smartphones or laptops too close to bedtime can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep due to their stimulating effects. The blue light emitted from screens can also interfere with melatonin production, making it more difficult for your body to relax and prepare for sleep. Try avoiding any screens an hour before bedtime and opt instead for activities like reading or journaling that will help calm your mind instead of stimulating it further.
Set Up Your Bedroom For Sleep Comfort
Creating an environment conducive for good quality rest is an important part of ensuring restful sleep throughout the night. This includes keeping the temperature cool (ideally between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit), darkening the room (blackout curtains are great) and keeping noise levels low (earplugs come in handy here). You should also restrict activities in this space solely for sleeping – this helps signal your body that it’s time for rest when you go into the bedroom at night.
Take Appropriate Naps During The Day
If you find yourself feeling tired during the day despite getting enough hours of sleep at night, taking short naps during daylight hours may be beneficial in helping you recharge without sacrificing nighttime rest periods longer than 20 minutes if needed throughout the day as long as they don’t disrupt normal nighttime sleeping habits. Taking naps during daytime may also improve alertness, memory recall and reaction times without reducing nighttime performance abilities later on.
Regular exercise has been found beneficial in improving overall sleep quality by increasing both duration and depth of REM stages while decreasing light waking periods throughout the night. Aiming for 30 minutes a day 5 days a week should be sufficient enough activity level needed with minimal disruption caused by exercising too late in evening near bedtime. However if possible aim for exercising earlier in day rather than closer towards end when going through daily routine activities.
Create A Pre-Bed Routine
Creating consistent pre-bed routines helps signal your body’s internal clock when its time wind down towards end of day prior heading off into dreamland. Engaging calming activities like reading books listening slow tempo music playing boardgames relaxing baths etc. all are great ways wind down near end before hitting sack ensuring optimal conditions prior reaching slumberland limits chances disruption caused by external factors mentioned earlier.
Sleep is essential not only our physical health but mental well-being as well being primary factor aiding long term productivity success living happy life. Establishing healthy habits surrounding following tips outlined here will increase chances attaining desired 7 9 hours necessary reach full potential throughout given day.
- Sleep Foundation (https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/healthy-sleep-habits)
- National Sleep Foundation (https://www.sleepassociation.org/)
- Harvard Health Publishing (https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/establishing-healthy-sleep-habits)