Normal regular daily healthy sleep is crucial for health – it is very special time for body recovery. It is crucial for body on-going processes (functions), mind, mood and general health. During sleep several important body processes, restorations and strengthening are happening. Human body requires certain period of time for sleeping to be able to keep optimal health and well being. Healthy sleep provides needed rest for body and allows human body to be prepared for next day. We usually spend about one third of day sleeping which means we spend about one third of our life in bedroom. May be it is just a waste of time? May be sleeping time can be used better? According to scientists, people cannot survive without sleep – actually people can survive longer without food than without sleep. If every person could have healthy sleeping advices from experts on time, many diseases and dangerous conditions would be prevented.
Most people know that every adult should sleep about 7-8 hours during night but not only duration is important. The quality of sleep is also crucial for body and mind’s ability to renew and refresh. If you sleep long enough but with several disturbances or interruptions, your body could reply with several consequences including on-going tiredness, headaches, bad mood, lack of concentration, decreased memory or reduced living/working energy. There are several crucial factors which can have influence at healthy sleeping including sleeping environment, sleeping position and unhealthy sleeping habits.
Healthy sleep is very important part of healthy lifestyle which can provide several important health benefits. Discover top 5 sleeping advices which can help you to have normal regular healthy sleep.
Top 5 sleeping advices – environment
Top 5 sleeping advices
In many historical documents and movies based on ancient lifestyle we can notice how important were kings sleeping environments (rituals, quietness, darkness, special sleeping cloths) and queen’s sleeping settings (pre-sleeping washing habits, special soft pillows and blankets, light cotton covers, special wall’s paintings). All was developed for making very special relaxing environment – just to be sure that kings and queens will have quite pleasant not interrupted sleep. Actually sleeping environment was crucial even centuries ago.
If you want to have healthy sleep, try to keep your bedroom quiet, comfortable, dark and cool (no noise, no light, no intensive heating, proper ventilation, pleasant design, no aggressive wall’s color or threatening paintings, far from street, adapted to your very personal needs);
Always keep your bedroom cool – it would be recommended to set your bedroom thermostat at a comfortable temperature (cooler environments is always better than warmer atmosphere);
Don’t save money when it comes to comfortable bed – it should provide maximum physical ease and relaxation;
Remove all noisy items from bedroom including radio, TV, computer, clock, animals;
Eliminate disturbances made by your partner (snoring, loud breathing, coughing, permanent moving);
Choose most comfortable and adapted high quality sleeping pillows (adapted to your sleeping position, to your pregnancy, to your menopausal symptoms, etc.);
Keep on night table (next to your bed) some sleeping accessories (sleep mask, ear plugs, etc.) which can be used either regularly or in cases of disturbances (partner’s snoring, unexpected street light or noises, etc.);
Light in bedroom should be dark or almost dark (never bright!).
Keep your pets outside the bedroom.
Top 5 sleeping advices – duration
While sleeping duration requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy women need about 6-9 hours sleep per day. Sleep duration is very important because body needs enough time for restoration, rejuvenation, muscles growth, tissues reparation and synthesis of vital substances (hormones, enzymes). All people during day accumulate huge amount of information which can be processed and stored during hours (usually information is analyzed by brain and transferred from weak tentative short-term memory to stronger long-term memory). According to health experts, night sleep is the period and opportunity for human brain to be cleared of waste. Actually our physical and psychological ability, mood, energy and health depend on daily sleep duration. Healthy sleep duration according to National Sleep Foundation (Washington, DC, 2015):
Newborns (0-3 months) – 14-17 hours each day;
Infants (4-11 months) – 12-15 hours each day;
Toddlers (1-2 years) – 11-14 hours each day;
Preschoolers (3-5 years) – 10-13 hours each day;
School age children (6-13years) – 9-11 hours each day;
Teenagers (14-17 years) – 8-10 hours each day;
Younger adults (18-25 years) – 7-9 hours each day;
Adults (26-64 years) – 7-9 hours each day;
Older adults (65+) – 7-8 hours each day.
Top 5 sleeping advices – position
Best sleeping position can be different for different people. Every woman should choose the nest sleeping position according to her habits and health conditions. At the same time, it is important to know information from health experts:
Sleeping position on back is comfortable for head, neck and spine (keeping it in a neutral position) – ideal for warding off acid reflux;
On side sleeping keeps spine elongated and it wards off back and neck pain (recommended for people who have obstructive sleep apnea, prone to general snoring, neck and back pain);
Fetal sleeping position could be very comfortable but after some time it could lead to neck and back pain, wrinkles and saggy breasts (can be beneficial for pregnant women and snoring people);
Sleeping on stomach is not recommended because this sleeping position doesn’t support the natural curve of the spine, leading to overarching;
Starfish sleeping position can be beneficial for back; it can prevent facial wrinkles, skin breakouts and acid reflux but can cause snoring.
Top 5 sleeping advices – mistakes
Changed sleeping time
Avoid changing sleeping time – it is very important to keep consistent sleeping schedule (body clock’s ability to regulate healthy sleep depends on consistency). Changed sleeping timing can damage body rhythms and cause sleeping dysfunctions.
Long stay in bed without sleeping
Don’t stay in bed long trying to sleep – if you cannot fall asleep during 20-25 minutes, get out of bed and do something that occupies your brain.
Noisy, bright, disturbing sleeping environment
Eliminate all abnormalities in sleeping environment including noise, bright lights, working radio, TV, computer or mobile, moving pets, disturbing children, etc.
Daytime long nap can damage healthy sleeping rhythms. Daytime nap can be accepted if it is short (maximum 30 minutes) and if it happens before 4pm. In some countries short siesta (30 minutes) after lunch is considered as “healthy habit”.
Bed time eating or drinking
Bedtime foods and drinks can raise blood sugar and over-stress digestive organs. Caffeine and energy drinks keep body energized (not sleeping) up to 12 hours. Bedtime food consumption should be avoided.
Bed time use of modern technologies
Mobiles, computers, tablets, TV sets and radio in bedroom could disturb normal sleeping rituals and sleeping physiological rhythms due to additional noise, light and vibrations.
Top 5 sleeping advices – what to avoid
Never work or communicate or negotiate in bed (no conflicts, no laptop, no mobile, no any working accessories);
Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy;
Avoid naps during day (even if it is needed, never take nap after 4 pm) – better to go to sleep earlier;
Avoid food consumption before or during bed time;
If you are not asleep after 20 minutes, then get out of the bed and keep yourself busy;
Avoid coffee and products with caffeine (tea, soda) in late afternoon;
Never go to bed hungry and/or thirsty;
Avoid sleeping pills – better use sleeping tea;
Remove from bedroom radio, TV, bright lights, computer, tablets, laptop and mobile;
Avoid alcohol and intensive physical exercises within 4-5 hours before bedtime.
Healthy sleeping is crucial for body functioning, mind, mood and general health. Every adult should sleep about 7-8 hours during night (deep and not interrupted). Unfortunately many people have sleeping…
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.