Sleep. Everybody needs it. Just as much as we consider good nutrition and physical activity as vital to achieve optimal health so is sleep. Every individual would need to recover the energy consumed by their body from whatever activity that they do. Depending on age, an individual would need a full sleep to be able to think well, do well, and might as well say live well.
Average Sleep Needs by Age
Newborn to 2 months old 12 – 18 hrs
3 months to 1 year old 14 – 15 hrs
1 to 3 years old 12 – 14 hrs
3 to 5 years old 11 – 13 hrs
5 to 12 years old 10 – 11 hrs
12 to 18 years old 8.5 – 10 hrs
Adults (18+) 7.5 – 9 hrs
As to some who might say that 6 hours of sleep is enough, might as well think again. Researchers in the University of California, San Francisco say that there are people who have genes that enable their body to work efficiently in just 6 hours of sleep at night but would be very rare. The gene only appears to less than 3% of the population and for the 97%, 6 hours sleep may seem not enough.
So how do we get that sleep? Here are some tips to follow that might as well help you acquire that full body rest that your body would need.
For some, time management would already be necessary. Set a regular bed time schedule. Set the time when you usually get tired and wake up at the same time every day. For those having insomnia, avoid napping in the middle of the day. Remember, it is better to get full straight sleep at night that napping in the morning.
To follow the schedule, you would need to relax your mind to get yourself to sleep. Focus your mind to relax and avoid thinking things that bothers you. If you think of work, allow work matters to be dealt with only during office hours. Your company won’t give any incentive for worrying about your work at home. To help you relax, try to keep your room quiet, cool and clean. A clean and comfortable room can ease your mind.
Eat right and exercise regularly. Avoid energy boosting food or drink at night when you are about to get to bed such as coffee, chocolates or other food rich in caffeine. Alcohol should also be avoided. Though you get to sleep faster, it reduces the quality of your sleep making you wake up in the middle of the night. Avoid eating too much. Most of us would usually consume too much food than what our daily activities would require. In return, we have so much energy stored in our body that makes us difficult to get tired and makes it difficult to sleep.
Exercise is essential. It allows us to consume the energy from the food we eat at the same time giving our mind a time to relax. A minimum of 30 minutes workout would be enough. Wether that be physical exercises (running, biking, swimming, etc.) or relaxing exercises (tai-chi, yoga, gentle stretching, etc.) it will help promote sleep.
Lastly, if you can’t handle it yourself, consulting a sleep doctor would help. Persistent daytime sleepiness, morning headache, snoring loud with pause breathing, physically acting out dreams while asleep, falling asleep in inappropriate times and others sleeping disorders may be cured with a doctor.
No matter how much you spend for cosmetics, beauty products, vitamins to keep you body fit, healthy and beautiful, without proper rest or should we say sleep, the body as well as the mind will worn out faster. Even machines fail due to over work and would require maintenance and rest. So take care of your body not simply focusing on what we eat or what we do but also how much we let it rest.