How important is sleep?

July 29, 2021

1. How does sleep affect us?    

Sleep is vital for our physical and mental health. It’s when the body rests that the chemical and electrical activities of the brain take place. A good night’s rest also helps to prevent the onset of many illnesses and diseases. A good night’s rest, a good diet, exercise and a good attitude will go a long way in helping you stay healthy. But our attention span isn’t long enough to give all these things enough time to do their job.

Getting a good night’s rest starts with having a good and nourishing diet, enough water and exercise to remove toxins from the body and sleep comfortably at night. It is suggested that in order to maximize our learning, we should be able to sleep at least 7 hours each night. For optimum levels of health, we should get 8 hours of deep sleep, or REM, every night. If we have reset our circadian rhythms by going to sleep at different times each day, we may not get the required amount of sleep.

Some people have found out that, while they are sleeping, their pineal glands release a hormone that is similar to the one that triggers the secretion of melatonin in pregnant women. This hormone can suppress the production of the nocturnal cortisol during the night, thus lessening our waking hours and giving us more time to reorganize and recharge. This is the preliminary answer to the question how does sleep affect us?

The second phase of the question, how does sleep affect us, is about how to get the most out of our slumber. For optimum levels of learning and retention, it is suggested that we avoid sugary drinks like soft drinks, caffeine-containing beverages and alcohol. Our body wants to have sugar in its fluids to maintain blood glucose levels that are stable and in harmony with other hormones.     

 2. Sleep and productivity    

Productivity and sleep debt are linked like an old married couple. A happy marriage means that the couple has put in place a system whereby they can both enjoy each other’s company, yet stay physically and emotionally connected at the heart of the home. Productivity means everything that you produce in your day to day life, while sleep deprivation suggests you have failed to rest adequately. If you fall into the category of “productivity poor” then it is time to make some adjustments to your lifestyle and outlook. Many people think that work performance is largely caused by the quantity and quality of sleep they get each night. While this is true to an extent, there are other important drivers behind our productivity levels.

Poor sleep duration has another detrimental effect on our productivity. We often lead sedentary lifestyles, which can adversely affect the quality of our lives. If you find yourself spending more time sitting in front of your computer screen than exercising, then it is time for a change. Both increased stress levels and reduced physical activity can lead to greater levels of stress and less energy to face your day’s challenges. An alternative would be to take part in a class or an online study program where you can have one-on-one coaching from experts who are trained in handling work and life issues. This can allow you to achieve better sleep duration and improve job performance.

The human circadian rhythm is directly linked to the amount of sleep needed. For individuals who exhibit regular and consistent patterns between sunlight, temperature, and melatonin, it is possible to induce sleep need by going to bed at a certain time and leaving on a good night’s sleep. A lack of exposure to natural light and low melatonin levels has been linked to poor daytime performance and poor work output, which can negatively impact our productivity in both jobs and in life.

Our health will deteriorate if we continue to let sleep debt linger. The human circadian rhythm is directly linked to the amount of sleep we need. If we don’t get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, we can disrupt our body’s natural rhythms and cause fatigue, confusion, drowsiness, and irritability. Lack of energy makes it difficult to accomplish our daily tasks and activities. Furthermore, a lack of quality sleep can also contribute to the development of serious diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

When it comes to sleeping and productivity, there is a relatively small correlation between the two. However, having a good night’s sleep does improve our cognitive performance. In addition, our daytime alertness improves as well, which can help us in our careers and in our daily lives. To sum up, a good night’s sleep can improve our mood and general well-being, while allowing us to be more productive throughout the day    

 3. Ways to help you fall asleep 

Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Do you wake up drowsy and cranky in the morning? There are many different reasons why you might be having trouble sleeping but if you know how to go about solving your problems, then you should find that you are more relaxed throughout the day. Your body needs time to rest and repair itself. If you work yourself to sleep, it will take much longer to get back to the same state that you were in when you went to bed.

Sleep is vital for your health so finding things that help you sleep is important.  Invest in your sleep. If you are trying to save money you might want to think about other areas that you can trim from the budget before you cut back on quality when it comes to your sleep. If it helps your quality of sleep it is worth the investment. Mattresses, sheets and comforters can be pricey so do your research, ask for feedback and look up reviews. Blackout curtains is another product that can help to improve the quality of your sleep. They aide in blocking out light and the outside temperatures, this can keep your room a more comfortable temperature and it can also help to lower your Rochester Gas and electric costs.

Another great way to help you fall asleep is to exercise. This not only helps you get into a better shape for the day but it also gives you a better chance of falling asleep. It is good to get moving because when you are tired your body is not going to be as relaxed. Try walking around your neighborhood or push your bike a little further. You may even want to take a vacation and take the time to walk around in the mountains or anywhere else that would get you to think. Exercise can give you a better night’s rest.

One of the popular ways to help you fall asleep is to meditate. Many people feel that meditation is very calming and relaxing. If this is true, then taking time out of your day to do some meditation is certainly worth it. Just try to do it when you are not feeling stressed or have any other type of interruption. Doing this whenever you find yourself feeling stressed will only benefit you.

There are many other ways to help you fall asleep that we did not talk about here. One thing you can try is drinking chamomile tea. Chamomile tea can help induce sleep. It can also help with the rest of your body.

If you drink a lot of coffee, try cutting back or quitting altogether. Caffeine can make you feel very alert and awake. This can be a huge contributing factor to not falling asleep soundly. Try drinking more herbal tea instead of coffee, herbal tea is known to promote relaxation and sleep.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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