How to Get Quality Sleep and Be Productive
Reading time – 9 minutes.
- Our nervous system and mental health directly depend on sleeping schedule.
- While sleeping, your body produces hormones that are necessary for a healthy and fulfilling life. That is why this process is so important.
- If we don’t get adequate sleep, we can expose ourselves to gaining weight, obesity, and even type 2 diabetes.
- If people ignore exercise, then they sleep worse than those who train regularly.
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Nowadays we often don’t get enough free time to relax and have a good sleep. Thus, sometimes we use artificial tools to stay productive both at home and at work. But there is one tool which is the greatest of all times. It is free and useful and essential for you. We are going to talk about sleep.
We think there’s a sleep crisis in our culture. Most people equate sleep deprivation with more time for the day and things. Ironically, we become more stressed and tired, so these things don’t make us feel satisfied. If you don’t have relaxation, you don’t enjoy the day, and you have less energy to finish your work tasks.
Modern lifestyle demands cause many of us to not be able to fall asleep and rest at night. Unfortunately, this leads to chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. They are more and more associated with sleep deprivation.
This article will give you some vital sleeping tools to lead you to a healthier and more successful life.
How Much Sleep Do You Need to Be Productive?
The sleeping experience and advice vary. There are many different opinions, and sometimes it is hard to find the best for you.
Some people believe in an eight-hour sleeping rule. Others say it can be five or six-hour-long. And some small percentage of people need only five hours.
Since we all individuals, it will take some time to find your personal attitude towards sleeping. And yet many of us struggle to get the full eight hours. But some may only need six or seven hours a night, while others only need three or four hours.
In other words, it depends on such factors as age, gender, health status, and even your level of physical activity. Fortunately, there are simple free tests that you can do now to see if you get enough sleep.
There is research which has shown that the quality of sleep is as important as quantity. You can judge your sleep quality by many factors. Yet, it can be as simple as the total number of hours you have spent in bed or as complex as your body’s response to sleep.
The most crucial deep sleep phase is REM. Recently, we have got many technologies that enable sleep tracking. Some of them you can use on your smartphone, tablet, etc. Their quantity is rising, but we have chosen some of them for you.
Such devices as Fitbit can measure REM’s sleep cycle with the help of a polysomnography device. It can derive these measurements from heart rate and motion tracking.
Have you ever noticed waking up in the middle of the night with a headache, sore throat, or even stomach pain? If so, this tracking system will be beneficial for you.
If your sleep messages show only a few deep sleep phases, consult your doctor to perform a full analysis. If you are still feeling tired, you can try to track sleep at home, but the goal is to get six to eight hours of sleep to maximize your productivity.
Yet, getting the proper amount of rest for your body’s natural sleep cycle is easier said than done. So, if you’re still feeling tired at the end of the night, try a sleep tracker like Fitbit’s app for free.
Lifehacks on How to Sleep Effectively
Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, heart problems, and depression.
Sleep is the main component of a healthy life. Adults should sleep regularly for 7 hours or more a day.
Some people, especially young ones and people with chronic diseases, need even more – 9 hours of sleep a day. Few people need to sleep less than 6 hours a day. It depends on different factors.
Having fewer hours than you need can raise the risk of such chronic diseases as:
- cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure;
- weight gain and obesity;
- immune system disorders;
- mental problems and depression.
Insufficient sleep can also affect your ability to make decisions, increase the risk of road accidents, and lead to mistakes in life.
However, it becomes more difficult to turn on the lights, so get a blackout curtain for your window.
A common and irritating problem is to wake up early (e.g., earlier than others) and see that this problem persists. It is often the result of a long noontime sleep. Try to create a schedule of your relaxation and wake up at the same time every day. This habit will help you.
If you avoid caffeine for 10 hours before going to bed, it will help you quiet your thoughts before sleep. Also, you should try simple yoga or breathing practices. The app Headspace recently launched a complete sleep-focused meditation package that can help you calm a busy mind.
Adequate sleep improves your productivity to work the whole day. When people get more sleep, they are more focused and can do tasks more efficiently and productively. So, that is why you may get more work and feel better.
Sleep helps people feel they deserve rest, so they work harder, longer, and more productive.
To prove it, here is the result of the experiment in Seattle. They moved the start of the lessons at high school to a later time. And they got better grades and better attendance.
If we move to regard sleep as a cultural norm, we might value it more. You should accept that sleeping influences your effectiveness and increases your potential.
Ways to improve sleeping. Stages, functions, and postures of proper sleeping
Your behavior during the day, especially before bed, affects the quality of your sleep. Even a few actions sometimes can radically change the situation.
The good habits that will improve your sleep:
- Follow the sleeping schedule.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time, even on weekends.
- Create a comfortable atmosphere
It is easy and comfortable to sleep with the quiet, dark, relaxing atmosphere and cold bedroom temperature. Turning on bright lights in the evening can spoil good sleep.
- Remove accessories
Move electronic devices from the bedroom, or at least turn them off 30 minutes before bed.
- Keep your diet
Avoid caffeine (within 6 hours before bedtime), alcohol (within 4 hours before bedtime), and large amounts of food. Eat a healthy diet throughout the day.
- Don’t drink before bedtime.
It is necessary and possible to quench your thirst, but drinking too much before bed can cause sleeping problems.
- Do not smoke
Avoid smoking or quit this bad habit. In any case, do not smoke right before bed.
Being physically active during the day will help you fall asleep more easily at night.
- Use the bed only for sleeping.
Don’t eat, watch TV, or work in your bed.
Healthy sleep is physiologically necessary for a person. It is an essential condition for your physical and mental health. People usually spend about a third of their life in bed. Thus, you should pay attention to this part of your life and ensure that your sleep is healthy.
The quality of our wakefulness depends on the quality of sleep. So, your functioning during the day depends on how your body rests at night.
Proper sleep is a source of great mood, well-being, and, of course, beauty.
A person’s sleep consists of several stages, which repeat a few times during the night. During sleep stages, your brain maintains its various structures and carries many functions for the body. Scientists divide sleep into two phases: slow sleep and REM sleep. And slow-wave sleep has few stages itself.
First stage. The person is half asleep. In this phase, your muscle activity, pulse, and respiratory rate decreases. The same as your body temperature.
Second stage. It is the stage of shallow sleep. Muscle activity, pulse, and respiratory rate continue to decline.
Stage Three. The phase of slow-wave sleep. At this stage, your body is almost completely relaxed; the cells begin restorative work.
Stage four. The phase of deep, slow-wave sleep. Your body is completely relaxed; it rests and recovers. Through the third and fourth stages, we feel refreshed when we wake up.REM sleep
REM (rapid eye movement) stage occurs approximately 70-90 minutes after the onset of sleep. During this period, the brain activity is practically the same as during wakefulness.
Your body is in a completely relaxed state. But, such body indicators as temperature, blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate increase.
At the same time, eyes under the eyelids begin to race. During this period, we tend to have most of our dreams.
Organs and body system protection.
Processing the information.
Adaptation to changes (day-night).
Maintaining a normal psycho-emotional state of a person.
Body immunity restoration.
The Right Sleep Position
The correct sleeping position also affects your rest at night. When you go to bed, make a conscious effort to follow these guidelines until they become a habit:
- The correct sleeping position is on your back. In this position, all muscles relax, blood flows freely to the brain, and there is a uniform load on the heart.
- Doctors advise people with scoliosis to sleep on their backs: this is how the mattress supports the spine. And if you look after your appearance, this pose is definitely for you!
- The face should not touch the pillow during the night, which will prevent the formation of unnecessary facial wrinkles. Yet, sleeping on your back is not recommended for those with breathing, snoring problems, or pregnant women.
- And for those who like to sleep on their backs, it is better to avoid using a high pillow, as it makes breathing difficult.
- Sleeping on your side is also suitable for most people. When you lie on your side, the spine maintains its natural curve, and the back relaxes. Besides, you should pay attention to your posture. It is crucial what side you sleep on.
- When you sleep on the right side, it can cause heartburn. But, sleeping on the left side causes additional stress in the heart. It is not recommended to put your hands under the pillow. It impairs blood circulation in them.
- Sleeping on your stomach is the most harmful. You disrupt the correct position of the head this way. The load on the joints and muscles increases, especially on the chest, making breathing difficult.
When you sleep on your stomach, it straightens the spine’s natural curve, which can lead to back pain. If you are an adherent of this position, put a small pillow under your thighs and lower abdomen. It will restore the work of the spine.
Sleep takes up a third of our lives. If you live for 90 years, you will sleep 30 of them. Many neurologists, psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists still study this process. Because we always wonder how much sleep we need and how it affects our productivity.
Adequate sleep promotes success in your professional and personal life. With quality sleep, you get more effective during the day.
While we rest at night, the body produces several essential hormones. Throughout this, we get tissue regeneration, and the body’s and mind’s strengthening.
Lack of sleep impairs the functioning of individual sections of the brain. For example, it may be difficult for a person to formulate thoughts, and there may be vision problems. Exhaustion of the mind turns into a whole bunch of negative consequences.
You can see how valuable quality rest is and how many problems you can avoid with such a simple healthy habit – a good sleep.
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