According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than half of Americans “feel sleepy on average three times a week.” The report also suggested that those who feel sleepy tend to feel irritable and unwell.
It is important to know that the two top reasons why people feel sleepy are poor quality of sleep and not enough time to sleep. Unfortunately, according to the report, the former reason is more common among Americans.
Phases of Sleep
There are two phases, Non-REM and REM (rapid eye movement). Non-REM sleep, the first phase takes up 3 stages:
1st stage – Light sleeping
2nd stage – Light sleeping with periods of muscle tone
3rd stage – Deep sleep
After the 3rd stage, the body goes into REM sleep. In this phase, the body is asleep but brain activity and muscle relaxation increase. It is important for people to have enough Non-REM and REM sleep. In most cases, people don’t get enough sleep. If an individual doesn’t get enough sleep over a long period of time, that could lead to sleep deprivation.
What needs to be done to improve sleep?
Here are some tips that will help you get a good night’s sleep.
- Be more active – If you are a couch potato who sits all day, then that already hinders you from getting a good night’s sleep. Physical activities like jogging can help you sleep more easily, especially during the night. When you exercise, your core body temperature increases meaning you are more awake. After an hour or more, that temperature starts to decline and that signals your body that it’s time to sleep. Do you know one of the most important preparations athletes do before a big game, they get enough sleep?
- Turn pages, don’t scroll down – These days, many people go to bed with their smartphones intact and they would spend hours scrolling down social media. The light from the screen signals the brain that it’s wake-up time. Lights from smart devices are filled with colors. Blue colors you need to be vigilant as it tells your brain it’s morning or daytime. So, instead of scrolling down, why not read a book. Several studies suggest that reading a book before going to sleep improves sleep quality.
- Eat healthier and more responsible – Poor quality of sleep can result in people overeating during the day. Then when night comes, poor digestion can lead to poor quality of sleep. That is why it is important for people to not eat less but to eat healthier and more responsible. Also, consider eating food that improves your metabolism for better digestion.
- Don’t be afraid of clocks – “How much more sleep would I get if I sleep at ..?” This is something many people can relate to. While trying to sleep, they keep checking the time to see how much sleep they can get. Some people woke up in the middle of the night and deal with this very struggle. According to experts, constantly checking the clock triggers stress that keeps an individual awake and can even lead to insomnia.
Better sleep won’t only lead to a good mood throughout the day but a happier lifestyle for many days. For sure, there will be times when you won’t be able to sleep well. But for the days that you can, go for it.