o you feel less productive and efficient at work? Do you lack concentration and focus on the task at hand? Well, it is probably because you slept too late last night or you woke up too early this morning. Yes, not only can sleeping too late affect your productivity, but waking up too late has its negative effects as well. Everyone knows that lack of sleep has bad effects on your health, but did you know that sleeping too much has even worse health effects?
So, how much sleep do you really need to get to be healthy? People are used to the fact that having 8 hours of sleep is the healthiest. However, there are new studies and facts that contradict this myth. The healthiest amount of sleep is 6 to 7 hours, according to recent studies.
According to a study from the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center in California, 6.5 to 7.5 hours a night lived a bit longer than people who slept 8 hours or more . Meanwhile, people who sleep longer than the prescribed hours everyday are more likely to develop obesity, heart disease and have higher risk of dying sooner.
Sleeping Pills Data
Source: abcnews.go.com >>
- Sleeping pill usage has tripled in a decade.
- Nine million Americans are using pills every night to fall asleep.
- Women and people 70 and over suffer from insomnia; women twice as much as men.
- Doctors are worried about misuse and side effects.
- Ambien – 39 million prescriptions in 2011 – 63% were for women.
- Ambien caused an average of a 274% increase in ER visits over 5 years.
- More than 50% mix Ambien with other drugs and alcohol.
The brain’s parietal and occipital lobes govern your visual processing, knowledge of numbers, and manipulation of objects. If you lack sleep, these parts of the brain will be greatly affected. If you don’t get enough sleep, your ability to choose properly and be creative will be affected negatively. This is the main reason why you won’t be able to perform optimally in your work or business if you lack sleep.
Tips to Get Better Sleep
To get enough sleep, you must develop good sleeping habits. There are simple things you can do or avoid to develop these good sleeping habits. Here are seven simple tips you can follow to have better sleep:
Take naps regularly.
Start taking naps every day. A 20-minute nap
can instantly boost your energy to make you more productive and focused. Why does taking a nap help your productivity?
It is actually simple common sense. It just makes you feel less tired. Other people call these short naps “power naps.” But they really are just naps you take at the right time and consistently every day. The best time to take a nap is that time of the day when you feel most tired. Usually, this time of the day is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. People tend to get tired and start sleeping after lunch. Make sure you tell your co-workers, your boss, and even your employees that you need a 20-minute nap during this time, so that they won’t think you’re slacking off. Make sure you do not exceed 30 minutes to achieve the optimum effect. Another reminder; make sure you consistently take a nap every day and at the same time every day. According to studies, taking naps can increase your creativity and decrease your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
Create a sleep ritual. Remember that a ritual is different from a habit
. A habit is something that you do on a regular basis even to the point that you have to force yourself to. Rituals, on the other hand, are a lot more compelling. A ritual you can develop is to take a walk around the block before you sleep, listen to some wonderful classical music before you sleep, read a fiction book before you sleep, etc. do develop a good sleeping ritual; simply shrug off the bad habits.
Exhaust yourself before you sleep. If you are drained both mentally and physically, you will get that deep sleep that can rejuvenate all aspects of your body. You can do a strenuous physical activity, like exercising (this may not work for all, because some feel more energetic after a workout), a strenuous mental activity, like reading a book, or listening to soothing, calming music before you sleep to get that slumber you want.
Stay away from your mobile devices. When you read that fiction book, make sure it is a book and not some eBook from your Android phone, iPhone, tabs, and other mobile devices. The light from your mobile devices tricks your brain into thinking that it is still daytime and that it is not yet time to sleep. According to studies, you should turn off all mobile devices, including your computer, and your TV 1 hour to 2 hours before you sleep to get that deep sleep that your body needs to recharge. If you can stay away from the light source of these devices, you will have a healthier sleep. Melatonin
makes your sleep better and helps your body recover for the next day. The bright lights from these devices suppress the melatonin production.
Mind what you eat. Don’t get yourself too full or too hungry before you sleep, because this will make you feel uncomfortable during your sleep. Eating too much might even warrant you some trips to the toilet in the middle of the night. That will definitely disrupt your sleep. The quality of your sleep could also be greatly affected by nicotine, alcohol, and cigarettes. A lot of people think that drinking alcohol can make you sleepy. Alcohol has this effect at first, but studies show that alcohol in your system can actually stimulate your senses and wake you up in the long run.
Create a comfortable sleeping environment. Your sleeping environment must be ideal for sleeping, which means it should be dark, cool, and quiet. Turn off those night lamps, put your technological devices to DND, put some earplugs on or earphones if you prefer to listen to sleep music, and make sure your room gets good ventilation. Your bed, your mattress, as well as your pillow contributes to the comfort and quality of your sleep. Choose bedding that best suits your comfort. If you sleep with your spouse, make sure your bed is big enough for the both of you. If you have a pet or children, you should regulate and limit the nights they sleep together with you. You should also encourage that your children have their own separate rooms, so that you can be comfortable on your own bed and room.