The only way to ensure that you have a good day is to have a good night’s rest. So here’s the scoop:
You may think that getting enough sleep is the most important factor, but it’s actually the quality of sleep which really counts. When you sleep, you go through a series of cycles that are important for restoring your mind and body. There are four cycles, and three of them are called non-REM and take approximately 30 minutes total to put you in a deeper sleep. The last cycle is called REM sleep, which is the deepest sleep and is the most beneficial to your body. You do the most dreaming during REM sleep and it occurs 70-90 minutes after you fall asleep. In order to get a good night’s rest, you will go through about five complete REM cycles which will rejuvenate your mind and your body.
Making the ideal environment for rest is important in order to get the best sleep possible. Although 3% of the population can function normally on 6 hours of sleep, most of us need at least 7.5 hours. Try these small tips to ensure you get the best quality sleep.
Complete darkness is necessary for the deepest sleep. Any light can still pass through your eyelids and will stimulate your brain to stop producing melatonin. Even a small night light or clock can affect the hypothalamus. Try an eye mask if you cannot make your room completely dark.
Since your sleep progresses in cycles you want to try to set your alarm for when you are in the lightest stage of sleep. Ideally, count eight hours from when you go to bed and set your alarm to ensure you get at least 7.5 hours since you may not fall asleep right away. Or you can try an alarm that gradually wakes you up by increasing the brightness of its light, instead of the abrupt alarm that startles you and gets your heart racing. We have to admit, if you’re like us, hectic schedules make getting eight hours of sleep the hardest for us! But we do have our alarms set to music to make the wake up less startling!
If you toss and turn at night and feel uncomfortable, try placing a pillow or use a body pillow in between your legs for support. This ensures your spine is correctly aligned and will make for a restful night without tossing and turning in discomfort. It will also help if you sometimes wake up with a stiff lower back. Tammy started doing this when she was pregnant with her twins and still does it.
Just remember that sleep should be a high priority when striving to be healthy. You should not only pay attention to getting enough hours, but you should also pay attention to your quality of sleep. What tips have you found help you get a good night’s rest?