Attain Quality Sleep on World Sleep Day and Beyond

March 18, 2016

Quality sleep, sadly, is one of our essential biological needs that we willingly neglect. We are too busy to get things done that we put off much-needed rest. Attaining better sleep may take a lot of work, but it is not impossible.

Technological advancements, according to the study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, have “afforded modern society with 24-hour work operations, transmeridian travel and exposure to a myriad of electronic devices.” This lifestyle is adversely affecting health with damages on your nightly shut-eye’s quality, quantity and timing.

Attain Quality Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? Time cites the National Sleep Foundation saying that the sleep range of individuals aged 18 to 64 should be of seven to nine hours each night. Those aged 65 and older must be getting seven to eight hours of good sleep. Anything below or beyond these ranges is bad for your health.

In an effort to highlight the importance of a good night’s rest, sleep medicine is introduced as a specialty field in medicine. The field first arrived in the Philippines in the early 1990s. The country will be hosting the 4th ASEAN Sleep Medicine Congress in 2017, aiming to foster cooperation in the region in furthering research on this fledgling field.

With the World Sleep Day 2016 set on March 18, there’s yet another chance for you to assess your sleeping habits. Sleep medicine is one of the newest specialty fields in medicine. Composed of a group of sleep order specialists, this field arrived in the Philippines in 1992.
Celebrate World Sleep Day by reconsidering your lifestyle and prioritizing your health and wellness. Your busy schedule may rival that of a world leader, but if you may know, good sleep is in fact a reachable dream. Here are five no nonsense ways to get a good sleep.

Maximize technology to improve your sleep

Maximize technology
On National Sleep Day (which falls on a Friday this year), download free mobile apps designed to help you attain better rest at night. Sleepbot has a smart alarm that chooses the right time wake you up in the morning, depending on the time you went to bed. It can also monitor your movements and any sound you’ve made while you’re unconscious. This can help you identify how long you reach the deep sleep stage, which is essential in recharging our body, as well as any sleep-taking habits.

Before turning on these apps, catch the sleep wave by performing meditative exercises. While on a sitting position on your bed, elicit relaxation responses by choosing a calming focus. This may be your breathing, a particular sound or a phrase. Focus on this element and feel relaxation course through your body.

Sleep in darkness

Sleep in darkness
You’re an adult. There’s no monster under your bed. Sleep in total darkness. Your body will love you for it. Scientists at the University of Granada suggest that exposure to artificial lighting reduces our body’s melatonin levels. Keeping the lights on throughout the night can also disrupt body clock and harm metabolism. The scientists are linking sleeping with the lights on and obesity.

The brain cells that control our body clock respond to light and dark signals. Artificial light such as fluorescent lamps unnaturally elevates the levels of hormones that should be otherwise low at night. Sleeping in total darkness blocks optic signals to the brain and boosts the body’s production of melatonin.

If your work needs you awake at night, make sure your room is in total darkness when you sleep during the day. Use heavy curtains, paint your walls black and soundproof your room if you must. It can take a lot of effort, but remember the ultimate importance of sleep to your overall well-being.

Be comfortable

Uratex Orthocare Harmony
Uratex Orthocare Harmony
Photo courtesy of Uratex Foam Philippines

Like many things in life, quality sleep will not be handed to you on a silver platter. You have to make it happen. Make your nest comfortable from the room temperature to your bed accessories. Set your air conditioner to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during hot weathers.

Your mattress can affect your sleep. Not only do comfortable beds reduce stress, it can actually encourage you to stay on it longer. Your mattress, no matter how you love it, should be replaced if you’re no longer sleeping as well as you used to or you’re already getting muscle pain.

Interestingly, even though we spend every single night in bed, we don’t take as much effort in choosing our mattress compared to buying a pair of shoes. Some of the factors that you should consider in buying a new bed are: price, durability, whether is it space consuming, the physical appearance, its effects to your wellness and its impact on the environment. Research about the latest trends in bed technology and get one that can help address your sleep difficulties. Choose a mattress that is able to conform to the contours of the body and eliminates pressure points.

A good example is the Uratex Premium Mattress which relieves pressure and relaxes your body after a long day. This high-rated product has all the elements of a good mattress such as good support and comfort, matched to the preference of the user and durability.

Eat healthy, exercise daily

Eat healthy and exercise daily
If you’re not used to getting sufficient sleep, it will be hard to change your sleeping habits. One of the best tips for better sleep is engaging in regular physical activities. Exercising is important in fixing your body clock. Studies reveal that exercise not only helps people rest well, it can also improve the sleep of those with chronic insomnia. Chronic insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulties in initiating or maintaining shut-eye.

How to get better sleep at night? Eat power food that contain naturally occurring substances such as sleep-enhancing amino acids. These foods include walnuts, almonds, cheese and crackers, and lots of green leafy vegetables.

Discipline yourself to sleep

Discipline yourself to sleep
Knowing when the World Sleep Day is or understanding the importance of getting good sleep are not enough. You have to adopt the right attitude when it comes to attaining quality sleep. There’s no point in pulling an all-night study session for your exams if you can’t remember important concepts in the morning.

According to Harvard researchers, sleep deprivation decreases blood flow inside the brain, affecting its ability to work properly.

Teach yourself to minimize your dependence to electronic gadgets. Give time for daily physical activities whether it’s a 30-minute stroll during your lunch break or an after-office trip to the gym. Invest in proper sleeping paraphernalia. Choose only the best mattress and foams, which are available in the Philippines. Finally, don’t turn your mattress into a makeshift office. Do your work in your office cubicle or home office, not on your bed. Bringing your reports and presentations to bed will definitely keep you up all night.

Most importantly, prioritize the things that matter in your life. Is rendering overtime work more valuable than preventing diseases? Is your weekly get-togethers with friends something you cannot limit to allow more time for a well-deserved rest at home?

This year, help raise sleep day awareness by making better lifestyle choices. Share these with family, friends and co-workers. With focus and willpower, a good sleep amid this fast-paced modern world is a reachable dream.