Did you know that your body needs an average of eight hours of sleep every night? If you donâ€™t get enough sleep, it could impair your memory and coordination, and have an adverse affect on your quality of life. Funnily enough, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that one in three adults in the United States are not getting the recommended amount of sleep for their age.
The answer depends on your age, but for adults between the ages of 26 and 64, the CDC recommends that you get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night.
Your brain, the most important and most complex organ in your body, is what is mostly affected when you donâ€™t get enough sleep. Your brainâ€™s ability to process information slows down, your memory is impaired, and lack of sleep can even prevent your brain from clearing toxins.
If your disturbed sleeping pattern continues for an extended period of time, your risk for developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease increases drastically.
Developing good sleeping habits will help you in sleeping better as well as sleeping longer. Itâ€™s common for you body to produce less melatonin as you age, which is why adults tend to wake up more during the night. But sticking to good habits, especially in the few hours leading to your bedtime, will help you face these changes as they occur.
Go to bed at the same time every day - This also includes waking up at the same time each morning. Create a schedule and stick to it. Even if itâ€™s difficult the first few days, your body will eventually develop a rhythm and make it easy for you to get the required amount of sleep your body needs.
Avoid bright lights for up to 30 minutes before your bedtime - Studies have found that your bodyâ€™s circadian rhythm, which is what stimulates nerve pathways that may keep you awake, is regulated by exposure to light. Dim all of the lights in your home and avoid screens like television or your phone.
Go to bed only when after youâ€™re drowsy - This may seem odd but itâ€™s common for people to get seemingly frustrated when they lay in bed trying to go to sleep. The more annoyed you become, the more chances there are of you reaching for your phone, watching T.V., or doing any other activity.
Use your bed only for sleep and for being intimate - Weâ€™re not trying to tell you how to live your life, but using your bed only for these activities will condition your body to know that itâ€™s either time to get down or go down when youâ€™re in it .
Use an app - Not contradicting the no phone in bed rule, but using an app (hands-off) will encourage your to sleep as theyâ€™ve been specifically designed to help you calm down through meditation. Many of them also offer sleep sounds like the ocean or relaxing melodies which will help you drift.
Diet - Foods and drinks such as chamomile tea, tart cherry juice, and kiwi are fill with nutrients and are high in melatonin. These have proven to be a suitable treatment for insomnia and will help you fall asleep faster.
The best way to start getting your body to sleep better and longer is a combination of many of the things weâ€™ve listed above. Try them out and create a pattern thatâ€™s best suited for you.