A Good Night’s Sleep – Essential for Health

Sleep is something that we all need; indeed, it is essential for good health and strength, enabling our body to work and deal with the pressures of everyday life. Sleep deprivation may seem a trivial matter but in fact can be dangerous – it is also a recognised method of torture!

Nothing Beats a Good Night’s Sleep

The benefits of a good night’s sleep are many – probably too many to count, this may well be the reason so many of us are obsessed with the idea of achieving that perfect night of rest.

  • A good night’s rest means waking up feeling refreshed physically and mentally
  • Good quality sleep is an excellent method of managing stress
  • Sleep is good for heart health, controlling blood pressure and improving memory function
  • A good night’s sleep may help maintain a healthy weight and maintain a healthy appearance

Unfortunately, if we are one of the people who struggle to achieve a good night’s sleep it is likely that we exacerbate the problem by worrying about the very fact we cannot sleep! Part of the process of achieving and maintaining good quality sleep is regulating our sleep-wake cycle – having a routine based around sleeping and wakefulness will soon help our body clock to adjust to our requirements and we will achieve the rest we crave.

Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

No doubt, if you suffer from sleeplessness you are aware of the many remedies and solutions there are to deal with the problem. The key for any remedy, for sleeplessness or anything else, is to experiment until you find the one that works for you. Improving the quality of your rest and establishing a sleep-wake cycle is something that may take some time but, the many benefits you will feel, make it time well spent.

  • Yogic breathing – yogic breathing is a method of deep breathing which will enable you to deal with stress, sharpen and clear your mind thereby inducing sleep. Practicing this type of breathing takes around fifteen minutes a day and, is best accompanied by meditation.
  • Avoid foods and drinks which inhibit sleep – it is well-known that some food and drinks contain chemicals which cause sleeplessness avoiding caffeine, for example, is essential for a good night’s sleep.
  1. Foods that delay sleep may include peanuts, apples, protein shakes, soy protein, coffee and sandwiches. This is due to the presence of the amino acid tyrosine that is recognised as increasing wakefulness.
  2. Foods that induce sleep may include egg yolk, cashew nuts, almonds, bananas, potatoes and beef.

Using any or all of these foods may well help you to establish a regular sleep-wake routine and pattern.

  • Music – some types of music can aid sleep depending on its frequency, this sleep inducing frequency can be found in natural sound tracks, soft rock music, trance and soul music.
  • Stop smoking – people are still under the mistaken impression that smoking alleviates stress and clears the mind, however, the health dangers of smoking are well-known add to those problems the fact that smoking also inhibits sleep and there really is no reason to continue with this particular dangerous habit.
  • Make yourself comfortable – this sounds like obvious advice, but all too often, the place where we sleep is a hive of activity and noise and may not even be very comfortable. Your bedroom should be peaceful and quiet – a place for sleeping, with no TV or computer, choose dark drapes at the windows and calm, cool colours for the decor. Ensure your pillows and mattress is sufficiently supportive and comfortable to enable a good night’s rest.
  • Don’t cat nap – this may sound obvious, but if you sleep during the day, you will not be able to sleep at night! Our bodies only require a certain amount of sleep, therefore if you feel dozy and it’s hours before bedtime you should employ sleep-delaying tactics – take a walk, give somebody a call, chew some gum, there are many things which will refresh and waken you sufficiently.
  • Take a warm bubble bath – a nice warm bath has known soporific benefits and will relax and soothe your prior to bedtime, just make sure you keep warm and cosy when you have finished.
  • Use essential oils such as lavender – lavender is known to induce sleep and relax us, sprinkling a few drops on your pillow or even using it as a room freshener will certainly enhance your sleep.
  • Medication – some medication may also disturb your sleep, and even taking sleeping tablets may have an adverse effect when taken for long periods. If you think your medication may be contributing to your difficulty sleeping it is essential to consult your medical practitioner before making any changes.
  • Set a regular bedtime and endeavour to get up at the same time every day.
  • Try to get fresh air and exercise every day – spending time outside away from artificial lighting and atmosphere during the daylight hours will help regulate the hormone melatonin. Melatonin production is controlled by exposure to light and, ideally, should be secreted more in the evenings and less during the day, however, many aspects of modern life are known to disrupt melatonin production and affect quality of sleep.


Natalia Zurek

This article was written by Natalia Z. . She is a one of the specialists on Webctor.com - a new health center which is responsible for bringing free and accurate medical information to the Internet. You can follow the portal on Twitter @webctor_com

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