Sleep is one component of overall health.
The amount of time that we spend sleeping varies from person to person. While most adults require between 7 and 9 hours of quality sleep per night, some may need less or more. Sleeping has many different benefits that are vital for us to function properly over the course of each day.
The quality of sleep, and the duration of sleep, has major consequences for our health and functioning throughout life. Sleep is not just about lying down. A quality night's sleep comes from a combination of several factors. It helps to have a regular bedtime, and to maintain a regular sleep-wake cycle. It also helps to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
In addition, getting good sleep depends on having an appropriate environment for sleep. For example, it may help to turn off the TV in the bedroom. And it helps not to have things in the bedroom that might stimulate you. For example, it may be useful to get rid of clocks that tick or that glow. Although good sleep can be difficult to achieve, it is possible. Here are some guidelines that may help:
- Begin by going to bed at the same time every night.
- Avoid caffeine after 2 p.m.
- Avoid large meals before bedtime.
- Create a quiet, relaxing environment.
- Reduce the ambient light, and turn off the TV and computer.
- Avoid stimulants such as nicotine and caffeine.
- Avoid alcohol and nicotine.
- Minimize stimulation.
- Sleep in a cool, quiet room.
- Take time to wind down before going to bed.
- Avoid too much light in the daytime.
- Exercise regularly.
- Be aware of your sleep patterns.
- Pay attention to your hunger.
- Be prepared for bed.