You may be surprised by what a difference sleep can make. A good night’s rest is about more than putting your head on a pillow and closing your eyes for eight hours. Getting the proper amount of sleep each night is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and feeling your best.
Here are some of the benefits of a good night’s sleep:
Reduces stress – Your body needs time to recover from daily stressors. Giving yourself enough time to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night gives your body this opportunity.
Keeps you alert – Sleep deprivation can make you feel as though you’re functioning in slow motion, which can be dangerous if you’re driving or operating heavy machinery. A lack of sleep also makes it hard to concentrate and remember things. Getting adequate amounts of sleep keeps you alert during the day so that you can function at your best and stay safe.
Improves mood – When you aren’t getting enough sleep, everything seems harder and more stressful. This can lead to irritability, anxiety, and even depression. Giving yourself enough time to rest restores your brain chemistry so that you can feel happier and more upbeat throughout the day.
Here are four simple changes you can make to improve your sleep:
Cut out caffeine
The stimulant effect of caffeine can stay in your system for hours, so try not to drink it after 3pm. If you do feel like having a hot drink later in the day, opt for camomile or herbal tea instead.
Set a bedtime routine
Try to go to bed at roughly the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning — even at weekends. This regularity will help train your body clock and allow you to fall asleep faster and wake up more easily.
Eat for energy
Avoid heavy meals before bedtime if possible — even if it means skipping dinner some nights. Eating late at night can cause indigestion, which in turn makes it harder to fall asleep.