Do you really feel rested, when wake up in the morning? And how much do you actually sleep? Five hours? Or even less?
Sleep is extremely important part of our daily routine. It supports normal brain functioning, healing heart and vessels, maintaining adequate immune response and keeping hormonal balance under the control.
It was even found that lack of sleep may be responsible for weight gain. The reason is that when you don't sleep enough, levels of hunger-hormone ghrelin raise up and levels of satiety-hormone leptin drop down.
In addition to this, sleep influences on the way, your body reacts to hormone insulin, involved in regulation of blood sugar levels. Thus, insufficient sleep is associated with higher risks of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
There is a high number of factors, which take a part in sleep-awake cycle.
There are two main processes that control your circadian rhythm and so-called “internal clock”.
First, it was found that drive for sleep accumulates when you're awake, reaching a peak in the evening. A chemical adenosine is one of the components that regulates this pressure for sleep.
A second important factor is environment. Your body reacts on the light, darkness etc. to determine, whether it's time to feel awake or drowsy. Darkness triggers production of hormone melatonin, which signals your brain to prepare the whole body for sleep. When it gets sunny, your organism creates cortisol to make you ready to wake up.
Recent recommendations say that adults need at least seven hours of high-quality sleep to stay healthy. This number is different for children, whose organisms require more sleep to grow and develop.
Many people complain of inability to fall asleep in right time, toss and turn till the late night. If you're one of them, here are helpful tips for you:
#1. Stick to schedule – create your own sleep-wake up schedule and try to stick to it, going to bed and getting up at the same time, even on the weekend. The difference should be no more than one hour, in order to avoid sleeplessness at the Monday-nights
#2. Don't overeat – taking heavy meals before the bedtime may result in acid reflux and discomfort that makes hard to sleep. If you feel hungry in the evening, have a light carb-snake (but not chocolate!)
#3. Exercise regularly in the right time – vigorous activities is the best choice, if you want to fall asleep in one moment. But any exercises are better than nothing. Try to avoid rigorous activities close to your bedtime, as it may boost cortisol levels and make it difficult to sleep.
#4. Stay off nicotine and caffeine – these two stimulants may really disrupt your sleep. That's why you'd better avoid a cup of coffee and a cigarette before going to bed. By the way, alcohol can also affect your ability to sleep well. Although people often notice that they fall asleep faster after a glass or two, alcohol cut duration of deep sleep phase. As a result, you may feel tired in the morning, even if slept during nine hours.
#5. Limit naps – short-term daytime naps may improve your alertness and performance. But it's worth limiting napping or taking them earlier, if it's difficult for you to sleep well at night.
#6. Prepare sleep environment – your bedroom should be as restful as possible. Keep it cool, dark and silent. Eye shades, ear plugs, curtain, humidifiers and wide variety of other devices can help you in this task.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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