There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.
When was the last time you had a great (not just good) night's sleep? I mean, a sleep that makes you want to spring out of bed with a serious burst of energy?
Been a while, huh?
Fret no more my friends, I have discovered some helpful tips to help you get a better night's sleep.
A typical great night's usually involves falling asleep within 10 minutes of your head hitting the pillow. It's actually an atypical occurrence for most people.
A key factor in determining if you've had a great night's sleep is if you have pleasant or "sweet" dreams. If you've had nightmares or 'stressful' dreams then you're probably not getting "restful" sleep.
Why is it so important to get quality sleep each and every night? Your body and your mind break down and get worn out from stress during the day.
The only time that your body and your mind repair themselves and rejuvenate is when you're sleeping. It's important to note here that "restful" sleep is the key.
Tossing and turning all night or waking up every few hours is not considered restful sleep. I recently read an article that made it to my research center that stated the facts about how snoring affects your sleep and your health.
People who snore tend to disrupt their sleep, on average, 300 times each night - now that's not a restful night's sleep!
Now think about it this way for a moment - if you've been under stress lately, or if you're mattress sucks, or if you just plain haven't been able to sleep well for the past few weeks (or months), then you haven't given your brain or your body the time it needs to repair itself.
Even Yahoo chimed in about this.
So you actually start each and every day a little bit less focused and less metabolically healthy than the previous day.
Don't try to catch up on your sleep. People tell me all the time that they know that they don't get enough sleep during the week - but they "catch up" on the weekends. Let me put an end to that myth right now.
That does not work!!!
Your body and your mind need a regular sleeping pattern to repair and rejuvenate - without it you're actually deteriorating yourself rather than re-energizing yourself.
So what's considered enough sleep?
|Average Hours of Sleep Needed by Age||Hours Needed|
|Ages 5 – 10||11 hours|
|Ages 10 – 17||9 hours|
|Percent of adults who reported getting an average of 6 hours or less||29 %|
|Percent of high school students who reported getting an average of at least 8 hours||31 %|
Generally speaking, everyone should strive to get 8 hours of restful sleep. Now if you eat a very healthy diet and exercise properly, and give yourself a few mental breaks during the day, and if you sleep like a baby and awaken fully refreshed every day, then you might be the type of person who can get away with less sleep - maybe 6 hours each night.
On the other hand, if you experience extraordinary amounts of stress each day (mental or physical), then you'll need more than 8 hours. A marathon runner for example, tends to put his/her body through a lot of stress each day - that person needs more than just 8 hours because their body needs more repair time than normal. The same holds true for the person going through massive mental stress as well.
So what can you do to help facilitate a better night’s sleep for yourself and those around you? Not sure?
Don't worry, part 2 will be on the way shortly with specific steps you can take to make sure your next night is a restful one.
1.) Photo credit: Lilmonster Michi via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
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