Just because you go to bed at the right time and get the appropriate amount of sleep, it doesn’t mean you’re getting quality sleep. You can boost your health by improving your sleep. Of course, you also need to get adequate sleep, too. You can get too much sleep, also! How much is the right amount. Everyone’s needs vary, but one study using women aged from 50 to 79 had a longer life if they slept six and a half hours, compared to a group that slept less than five hours. Better sleep also reduced the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation.
You’ll improve your workout and performance by getting adequate sleep.
It may seem like old hat, but there’s a reason coaches insist players get a good night’s sleep before a game. They perform better. It works the same for people in the creative world, too. When you get adequate sleep, your creativity gets a boost. The brain organizes during sleep and restructures the events of the day. Not only does it effect creativity, it also helps boost grades and improves attention.
You’ll lower your stress level that can cause visceral fat—abdominal fat.
That belly fat that comes from stress isn’t the result of lack of sleep. People who get adequate sleep also lose more fat when they diet than those who don’t sleep enough. One study showed that dieters that had adequate sleep dropped 56 percent more fat than those who weren’t well rested. While they may have shed just as many pounds, they lost more muscle mass. Lack of sleep can also boost your appetite. That’s because the same hormones that send signals to your body that boost your appetite are also the same ones that tell you when you’re sleepy.
The quality of your sleep is also important.
You need a certain amount of three types of sleep, REM sleep, light sleep and deep sleep. Deep sleep is the time the brain literally detoxes, which can help prevent serious conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s when repair and recovery occur. You need to lower your core temperature to achieve that. One way to lower your core temperature is to take a hot shower before bed, followed by a minute or two of a cold shower. If you have a pool or live near a cold water source, diving in before bedtime could be just what you need to lower your core temperature.
- Avoid overeating later at night to improve your sleep. Alcoholic drinks should also be avoided at bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom cooler and avoid sleeping with too many blankets. If you’ve ever awaken sweating from too many covers, even though it didn’t feel that warm initially, you’ll understand how it disturbs sleep.
- While exercising is always good, don’t do it right before bedtime. It stimulates circulation and can keep you laying awake for hours.
- Keep a schedule. Start a bedtime ritual an hour before bedtime. Turn the lights lower, brush your teeth or whatever it takes to signal to your body you’re getting ready to sleep. Get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekend.