The CDC recommends that adults get seven hours of sleep a night –but only 35% of us do. The way we sleep can impact everything in our lives, from our concentration to our memories?and even more. So why aren’t we sleeping enough? The answer may be because of our busy lifestyles, stressful lives, or even the bed we sleep on. A variety of factors can impact sleep depth, length, and quality – here?s why it?s crucial for you to sleep enough, and a few ways to improve your sleep.
How Sleep Functions And Why You Need Enough
Although it may not seem like it, we spend a third of our lives asleep, and there?s a good reason for that. Sleeping lets our brains sort through all the stimuli they’ve received during the day, solidifying memories and rehearsing new skills as well as processing information we haven’t had the chance to yet. During our sleep,our brains remove toxins that build up there.
There are four stages of sleep, three in non-rapid eye movement (REM) and the final in REM that we should be cycling through each night – problems arise when we don?t allow ourselves enough time to progress through each stage or when we are prevented from doing it in other ways. Not getting enough sleep is linked to increased risk of dementia, Alzheimers, depression, cardiovascular disease, and even diabetes. When we don’t let ourselves get enough sleep, we’re harming our immune system and taking away from our body?s ability to function how it should.
How To Improve Sleep Length, Depth, And Quality
There are a few simple fixes we can make to improve the sleep we get. One is so fundamental you might not even think about it: the bed you sleep on. Our mattress has a lot of impact on how long, deep, and well we sleep –people with comfortable mattresses sleep longer, wake up less in the night, and experience more time in the deeper stages of sleep. If your sleep is uncomfortable, or if you find yourself waking up in the night to cramps or back pain, you might want to consider looking for a mattress more suited to your needs.
Of course, mattresses aren’t the only thing that impact how we sleep: studies suggest that the cleanliness of our house, and particularly our bedroom, has an effect as well. If our rooms are more cluttered, we?re more stressed out, and less able to get to sleep or stay asleep long enough to pass the first two stages. Tidying up any stray items in your room before bed can help relax you as well as make it easier for you to sleep. Diet and exercise also play a part in our sleeping patterns – as a rule of thumb, living a healthy lifestyle is good for every part of your life, including getting to sleep and sleeping through the night.
Your brain needs a good night?s sleep most nights in order to perform its functions – and allowing it to do that means you?re living a better, more rested, more productive life. Helping yourself get to sleep is just that: helping yourself. In doing so, you?re also decreasing the risk of developing lifelong conditions like diabetes or depression. A good night?s sleep is in your best interests – so with that in mind, sweet dreams!