Health and Fitness

Achieving a Good Night’s Sleep

If you’ve been having difficulty sleeping through the night, you aren’t the only one experiencing these symptoms. Let’s look at some tips for enjoying a better night’s sleep: 

 

1 – As many as 70 million adults in the United States don’t get enough sleep each night, per the CDC. 

2 – If your brain is deprived of sleep, your judgment declines, you struggle to make decisions, and you actually make more mistakes as you go through the day, according to a 2011 study published in the journal “Nature”. This is caused by your neurons taking brief “catnaps” throughout the day if you’re sleepy. If an individual is sleep deprived, their neurons actually take short breaks throughout the day as they do if that person were asleep, making it far more difficult to concentrate and make decisions. 

3 – If you only sleep poorly a few times a week, you can make up for this sleep debt. After several nights without sleep, however, it becomes more difficult to make up the time that you’ve lost, according to research performed at Penn State. 

4 – Compromising on the amount of sleep you get can damage your immune system, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Participants in the study who only got four hours of sleep each night for a week only produced half of the flu antibodies of participants who were getting a full night’s sleep, after being administered a flu vaccine. 

5 – Cornell University’s researchers discovered that only one night without sleep can cause your skin to lose moisture, firmness, and overall elasticity, and will make the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines far more noticeable. The lack of sleep triggers your immune system to release molecules which makes it easier for UV rays and dirt to penetrate your skin. 

6 – In a small study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers discovered that when individuals who were dieting slept only 5.5 hours per night for 2 weeks, they burned more muscle and less fat than those who slept 8.5 hours. Additional research demonstrates that sleeping less than five hours regularly can mean that weight gain settles in around your middle. Your system secretes the lowest amount of cortisol at night, but losing sleep boosts cortisol the night after you’ve slept poorly. This stress hormone triggers the accumulation of belly fat, linking weight gain to poor sleep. 

7 – Other research has discovered that exercising less than three hours prior to bedtime doesn’t keep you from falling asleep, although it may lower the quality of sleep you get. 

8 – According to the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center, the temperature of the room that you’re in can also impact the quality of your sleep. If it’s hot and humid and you’re unable to cool your body down, you may be unable to get a solid night’s sleep. 

9 – Getting a comfortable mattress will go a long way to helping you get a good night’s sleep. Take a look at these Sealy mattress reviews and find the perfect mattress for you.

10 – It’s also best to avoid eating a large meal late at night, per the National Institutes of Health, as these meals can cause issues with your stomach that interfere with sleep. 

11 – Drinking alcohol can help you get to sleep, but as little as two drinks can cause your sleep to be less restful or trigger you to wake up more often. These disturbances can also be worse for females, per the University of Michigan.

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