It is a widely acknowledged fact that sleep is vital for overall health.
Disruption in sleep patterns has a major effect on mental, emotional, and physical well-being. These disruptions are the major causes of insomnia.
The average recommendation of sleep varies for different individuals because there are several factors to be considered like age, lifestyle, and overall health. All of these can determine the amount of sleep that is ideal for each person.
Below are the average sleep duration ranges at different stages of life:
- Newborns (0-3 months): 14–17 hours per day
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours per day
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours per day
- Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours per day
- School-age Children (6-12 years): 9-12 hours per day
- Teenagers (13-18 years): 8-10 hours per night
- Adults (19 years and above): 7-9 hours per night
More importantly, a person might need more or less sleep than the average ranges above due to individual variations.
What Is Sleep?
Sleep is a natural and recurring state of lessened consciousness that reduces all sensory activities in humans and many other animals. It is a complex biological process that involves brain activities and is crucial for various functions in the body like cognitive processing, physical restoration, and emotional balance.
The sleep-wake cycle is controlled by the circadian rhythms. The circadian rhythms are internal biological clocks that impact wakefulness and sleepiness timing daily.
They are usually influenced by external factors like darkness and light. These factors help to align the body’s sleep-wake cycle with the natural day-night cycle.
Tips For Better Sleep
To get better sleep, here are some tips to consider for long-term results.
1. Have a Sleep Schedule
A consistent sleep-wake cycle helps to balance your body’s internal clock. So, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on the weekends.
Notably, irregular sleep habits can affect your circadian cycle and melatonin levels, both of which help the brain to sleep.
2. Bedtime Routine
This is a series of activities that you do an hour or 30 minutes before bedtime. Establishing a relaxing pre-sleep routine is essential because it helps signal to the body that it is time to unwind and rest the mind and body.
There are tons of activities to help achieve this, like taking a warm bath, reading, meditation, and listening to music, just to mention a few.
3. Avoid Screens
To get better sleep, it is best to avoid screens (phones, tablets, computers, televisions, etc.) at least an hour before bedtime. This is because the blue light they emit can interfere with sleep quality.
4. Conducive Sleep Environment
Bedroom condition also affects the quality of sleep a person gets. It is important to ensure that your sleeping area is adequately conducive by keeping it cool, quiet, and dark.
You can also invest in comfortable pillows and a mattress to ensure a restful night’s rest.
5. No Caffeine Or Alcohol
In the hours leading to your bedtime, it is best to avoid alcohol and caffeine. Consuming them before this time can have a detrimental impact on your hormones and sleep.
Health issues like sleep apnea symptoms, snoring, and insomnia are associated with the intake of these substances.
6. Exercise Regularly
Physical activities, like walking, help to promote a better sleep culture. However, you mustn’t do this close to your bedtime. It might energise you and eventually make it harder to sleep.
7. Balanced Diet
There are certain meals to avoid close to bedtime as they can cause discomfort and disrupt your sleep. They include spicy foods, heavy meals, and excessive intake of liquids.
Have a balanced diet plan. Doing so helps you to get quality sleep and keep your body and overall health in good shape.
8. Exposure to Sunlight
Consistent exposure to natural sunlight or strong light during the day boosts the quality and length of sleep. They achieve this by regulating your circadian rhythm to make sleeping at night and waking in the morning easier.
9. Seek Professional Help
If all the tips above are not helping in getting a good sleep at night, you should consult a healthcare professional. They are best trained to treat sleep disorders and can help detect the cause of your sleeplessness.
The body undergoes many important processes like physical restoration, emotional regulation, memory organisation, and brain waste clearance during sleep. With all of these functions; it is no debate that sleep is an important part of a human’s life that shouldn’t be ignored.
While sticking to the tips above, remember that consistency is the key that opens the door to satisfactory and significant results. So, ensure that you establish good sleeping habits today to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Researched by Opebiyi Olamide