Adequate sleep is the most important reboot that the human body requires. Going without sufficient sleep for even some days in a row robs you of all the energy and makes you dull and less alert to all things in life.
Your body goes through a lot of physical and mental weathering during the day. Even the strongest of us witness depleted cognitive functions towards the end of the day, which are sometimes characterized by dull mood and irritability. A good sleep restores and refreshes the depleted cognitive functions of the brain and also repairs our muscles, resulting in a more energized body and mind the next morning.
It’s not only the mornings that get better, your energy levels remain elevated while you work, leading to better efficiency and improved performance.
Lifestyle and Sleep
While there are too many factors responsible for a sub-par sleep, one of the most pressing factor is an improper lifestyle. Traits like bad eating and drinking habits, abnormal schedules, and lack of physical activity can significantly impact your sleep, which can further increase the risk of lifestyle diseases in humans.
While poor lifestyle is directly linked to the onset of cardiovascular diseases, several studies have indicated that short sleep durations and sleep deprivation are also related to adverse cardiometabolic risk, which goes on to cause and accentuate lifestyle diseases like hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.
An improper lifestyle and the resulting sleep problems thereof can develop into sleep disorders which can further cause disturbances in our daily lives. These disturbances include mood fluctuations, poor decision-making ability, difficulty concentrating, tired body and mind, lack of motivation, low sex drive, and general lack of motivation.
Much of the lifestyle traits affecting your quality of sleep can be fixed easily. Simple changes in daily practices and habits can help you attain a good sleep routine and a healthy life.
Advantages of Sleep
Sleep is undoubtedly as important as eating a healthy diet. Even when we don’t understand the science behind a good night’s rest, we know that not sleeping for at least 6-7 hours a day makes us feel miserable the entire next day.
Sleeping for the minimum required hours can help significantly improve your physical and mental health. Good sleep is a booster shot for your body’s immunity system and a rejuvenator for your brain. Here are some of the biggest advantages of good slumber.
Repairing functions: Damaged cells in our body get repaired by producing more protein. This repair exercise gets in full swing when the body is at rest and it’s during the sleep time that our cells produce most protein. When our cells go unrepaired or under-repaired for long periods, it generally causes a reduced immunity and diminishes the body’s ability to fight deadly infections. This is why doctors advise plenty of rest when one catches a cold and infections.
Healthy heart: Our cardiovascular system goes through a plump change while we rest. Sleep reduces stress and inflammation in our cardiovascular system and helps regulate the body’s blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which are responsible for major cardiovascular conditions and strokes.
Stress moderation: Stress about general things in life gets compounded when the body doesn’t get enough rest. The production of stress hormones gets elevated, further impacting ones ability to go to sleep. When such conditions aren’t addressed for long, they can lead to serious conditions like anxiety and depression. Getting enough rest is the best and the easiest way to keep most of the stress problems at bay.
Memory enhancement: In its normal functioning, our brain captures information, stores it, and processes new information to take cognitive decisions on a regular basis. Sleep time is when the brain consolidates all the information you gather during the day, a process termed as memory consolidation. When you are in deep sleep, your brain makes connections between events, memories, feelings, and sensory inputs, strengthening memory and other cognitive functions of the brain.
Increased Energy and Alertness: Sleeping well every day helps you be more energized and alert. When you wake up refreshed from a sound sleep, you tend to do more of the right things like going to the daylight, exercise, and engage in a better way with the world. Especially, if your work requires you to be more attentive and alert, bad sleep routine can wreak havoc in your work life. With the right sleep, you not only do your job right but also become more efficient and productive in your job and life.
Mental health benefits: Good sleep significantly reduces the risk of depression and other mental illnesses by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is sometimes called the happy chemical, and contributes significantly to the mental well being and overall happiness. Several studies have pointed out that sleep conditions like insomnia, increase the risk of depression in humans.
Sleep disorders are conditions that impact your ability to go to sleep or remain asleep. Such conditions and the resulting lack of sleep from them makes you extremely tired during the day, impacting your concentration, mood, level of energy and overall health.
The symptoms of sleep disorders are fairly easy to spot. Following is the list of general symptoms related to sleep disorders.
- Problems in falling or staying asleep
- Daytime drowsiness and fatigue
- Strong urge to take taps in daytime
- Deficient concentration
There could be multiple causes (both physical and mental) of sleep disorders. When it’s difficult to breathe due to health conditions like cold or flu, you will find it hard to fall asleep. Too much stress and anxiety also causes sleep disorders and hampers your ability to get a good night's sleep.
Health conditions like nocturia - a frequent urination condition - also impact your sleep as it causes frequent breaks in your sleep for urination. Other conditions like chronic pain due to arthritis, bowel inflammation, and cervical spondylosis can also cause you to wake up frequently impacting your sleep.
There are several types of sleep disorders that can be caused by other health conditions - both physical and mental.
Insomnia: Insomnia is the most general kind of sleep disorder that is experienced by many people at some point in their lives. It is characterized by the inability to fall asleep and remain asleep. Insomnia can be caused by stress, anxiety, depression, and even jet lag.
Sleep Apnea: Sleep Apnea refers to pauses in breathing during sleep, causing the body to take less oxygen, which results in frequent breaks in sleep.
Parasomnia: In Parasomnia, people have difficulty staying asleep due to abnormal behaviors and movements like sleepwalking, nightmares, sleep talking, teeth grinding, and bedwetting.
Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy refers to sleep attacks that come in the daytime without warning, causing sudden sleep episodes. It can further develop into sleep paralysis, which can lead to an inability to move after waking from sleep.
How to Improve Sleep Quality
In most cases, people are not able to fall asleep because the mind is a little too stimulated to go to rest. Such stimulation can be a result of the intake of stimulants like caffeine or nicotine closer to bedtime. Exercising right before bed can also cause sleep issues due to increased body temperature and enhanced mental alertness led by physical activity.
Cutting down on sleep interfering stimulants and keeping a regular schedule can have an immensely positive impact on your sleep hygiene. A regular habit of evening relaxing activities like meditating, reading, and listening to soothing music is also a great way to prepare the body for a good sleep. Moving your physical exercise routine to the beginning or middle of the day also helps you fall asleep easily. A healthy and active lifestyle, in general, helps mend the sleep behavior.
A hyperactive mind can also be a result of psychological conditions like fear, excitement, stress, anxiety, or depression. While short episodes of psychological conditions aren’t worrisome, a prolonged inability to go to bed due to such conditions needs to be addressed sincerely.
Such causes of sleep deprivation also get abated by adopting a healthy lifestyle. When lifestyle changes aren’t enough to counter the psychological issues, you can develop mind exercises and tricks to take your mind off the unwavering thoughts that don’t let you sleep.
An uncomfortable sleep environment also hinders your ability to fall and remain asleep. While lifestyle and psychological factors are the issues that crop from within, your sleeping conditions are some outside factors that need some fixing. These factors include too much light or noise, high or low temperature, and incompatible mattresses and pillows.
Therefore, you must keep the sleeping environment dark, quiet and cool for good night sleep. You should also change your mattress every 7-10 years and not opt for cheap fixes when it comes to mattresses. You should find the best mattress for quality sleep, focusing on mattresses best suited to your body type and sleeping pattern.
How to Find a Suitable Mattress?
Mattresses are probably the most overlooked aspect of sleep problems in today’s world. Most people have mattresses that are either of poor quality, are too old and torn, or are unsuitable to the body type.
When incompatible mattresses are used for a long time, they don’t only cause sleep disorders but also cause other health problems like chronic back and neck pain. Such conditions put you at the risk of lifetime illness, which can get even uglier as you age.
Finding a suitable mattress is a tricky exercise as you would not know the suitability of mattresses unless you sleep on the mattress for some time. However, with the advent of technology and a vast amount of data on body types and sleep patterns, finding the right mattress is as easy as answering just a few questions.
To help you know your mattress type, King Koil - one of the best sleeping mattress brand in India - has introduced SleepID, which is a proprietary tech-based tool to help you find the right mattress.
SleepID analyses the way you sleep starting with a few questions on your body type and sleeping patterns. Being in the business for more than a century now, King Koil has years of experience and data to pick the right mattress for you. Using its exclusive technology, King Koil analyses the way you sleep to help find the right mattress for you.
Once you have found the right mattress type using SleepID, you can pick from a wide variety of mattresses available at King Koil. You can choose from a range of memory foam mattresses, spring mattresses, and latex mattresses. Apart from the general mattress technologies, King Koil also offers mattresses more suited to certain orthopedic needs like back and neck support.
In India, King Koil has a seamless mattress discovery and buying process that makes it the perfect junction to get the best mattress for sleeping in India.
There is no denying that a good sleep every night can help us be energized all the time. It is as much scientifically proven as it is personally experienced. All of us would have experienced periods of deficient sleep in our lives and we know well how dreadful it is to continue our routine lives without sleep.
Sleep doesn’t only give you an energized body and mind but also keeps in good mood by increasing the level of happy chemicals in the brain. A good mood keeps you from getting irritated or overly stressed about things.
Temporary sleeping issues and lack of energy thereof can be overcome easily if you are willing to do some research and ready to work on your lifestyle and habits. When you keep good quality and sufficient sleep as your priority, you always remain energized and full of life.
When things as fixable as the sleep environment and mattresses are responsible for your inability to go to sleep, you should not wait. Delays in fixing such problems can result in full-blown sleep disorders, which can then take much more than just changing the environment.
To the extent your sleep problems are chronic, the best thing to do would be to visit a sleep therapist to diagnose the issue in more detail and recommend a future course of treatment.