A new study has shown that 7 hours of sleep every night is the correct amount of shut-eye for those aged 38+. It’s not just those 38 and over who need a sufficient amount of sleep; teenagers should also be encouraged to adopt better sleep schedules too.
Not getting enough sleep can often lead to a number of issues:
- Poor mood swings;
- Impaired focus and memory;
- Decrease in your wellbeing;
- And an overall lower quality of life.
Not enough sleep can lead to a number of issues, ranging from poor mood, impaired focus and memory, decreased wellbeing, and an overall poorer quality of life. Professionals have often stated that we should aim for around 8 hours of sleep a night. Consistent sleep patterns have been linked with positive cognitive performances. Getting high-quality sleep helps your attention and concentration levels, which is key for those who are still actively learning, working or in education.
7 hours of sleep can also improve your:
- Problem solving
- Emotional processing
Improving your sleep
If you’re someone who frequently burns the midnight oil, it’s time to start taking your sleep seriously. Did you know that the recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours per night? Trust us, your body will thank you for it.
Now, we know that life can get in the way sometimes. Work deadlines, social events, and family obligations can make it tough to prioritise sleep. But consistently getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night can have serious consequences. You might experience brain fog, mood swings, and even an increased risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
So, how can you make sure you’re getting enough rest? First things first, try to establish a consistent sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. You’ll also want to create a comfortable sleep environment, so invest in some comfy pillows and blankets, and keep your room dark and quiet.
Another tip is to avoid stimulating activities before bedtime. That means no scrolling through social media or binge-watching your favourite TV show. Instead, wind down with a calming activity like reading or taking a warm bath.
We know it’s not always easy to prioritise sleep, but trust us, it’s worth it. When you get enough rest, you’ll be more alert, have better concentration, and feel happier overall. So go ahead, hit the hay a little earlier tonight, your body will thank you in the morning!
Read more: How to get a better night’s sleep
So, how do you get more sleep?
Your bedroom needs to be dark and cool
First, let’s talk about darkness. Exposure to light can disrupt your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. When it’s light out, your body naturally produces less melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate your sleep. This can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. That’s why it’s important to keep your bedroom as dark as possible. Invest in some blackout curtains or shades to block out any light from outside. You can also consider using an eye mask if you need some extra help creating a dark sleep environment.
Now, let’s talk about temperature. Your body’s core temperature naturally drops as you fall asleep, so keeping your bedroom cool can help facilitate this process. The ideal temperature for sleep is generally between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit (15-19 degrees Celsius). However, everyone is different, so it’s important to find the temperature that works best for you. Experiment with different temperatures until you find the one that helps you sleep best.
In addition to promoting better sleep, keeping your bedroom dark and cool can also have other health benefits. For example, sleeping in a cool environment can help reduce inflammation and improve overall cardiovascular health. Additionally, exposure to light at night has been linked to an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, and depression.
If you struggle with getting your room dark and cool, try these tips below:
- Cover your windows with thick black-out curtains, or blinds;
- Try opening your window and shutting your curtains/blinds an hour before you sleep to help yourself adjust;
- Consider wearing an eye-mask;
- Turn off all lights and electronics at least 30 minutes before you plan to sleep.
Make a sleep routine a habit
Creating a consistent sleep routine can help regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. When you establish a regular sleep schedule, your body becomes accustomed to falling asleep and waking up at the same time every day. This can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep, and can also improve the overall quality of your sleep.
Consistency is key when it comes to creating a sleep routine. That means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. It might be tough at first, but stick with it! Eventually, your body will get used to the routine, and you’ll find that you’re naturally feeling more tired at bedtime and more alert in the morning.
In addition to regulating your sleep-wake cycle, creating a sleep routine can also help reduce stress and improve overall mental health. By establishing a calming bedtime routine, like reading or taking a warm bath, you can help signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and relax. This can help reduce racing thoughts and promote a more peaceful state of mind.
Remember, creating a sleep routine takes time and patience. It might take a few weeks or even months to establish a routine that works for you. But once you do, you’ll be well on your way to better sleep and better overall health.
Turn that tech off
Electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops emit a type of blue light that can suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. This can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Additionally, engaging in stimulating activities like browsing social media or playing video games can increase your heart rate and make it more difficult to relax.
To get the best sleep possible, it’s important to establish a “technology curfew” and stick to it. Ideally, you should avoid using electronic devices for at least an hour before bed. This will give your brain time to wind down and prepare for sleep. If you must use your phone or computer before bed, consider using a blue light filter or wearing blue light blocking glasses to help reduce the impact on your sleep.
Instead of scrolling through social media or watching TV before bed, try engaging in relaxing activities like reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practising gentle yoga or meditation. These activities can help signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
A helping hand
While it’s always best to prioritise healthy sleep habits first, sometimes you might need a little extra help drifting off to dreamland. Luckily, there are several natural ingredients and supplements that can aid in improving your sleep quality.
One popular supplement that can promote better sleep is chamomile. Chamomile tea is known for its calming and soothing properties, making it the perfect bedtime beverage. You can also find chamomile supplements in capsule or liquid form.
Valerian root is another supplement that has been shown to improve sleep quality. Valerian root is a natural sedative that can help calm the mind and relax the body. Similar to melatonin, it’s important to use valerian root under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Magnesium is a mineral that can also be helpful in improving sleep quality. Magnesium helps calm the nervous system, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. You can find magnesium in supplement form, or you can increase your intake by eating magnesium-rich foods like leafy greens, nuts, and whole grains.
While natural ingredients and supplements can be helpful in improving sleep, it’s important to remember that they should be used in conjunction with healthy sleep habits. Remember to establish a consistent sleep schedule, create a comfortable sleep environment, and avoid stimulating activities before bedtime. By combining these habits with natural ingredients and supplements, you’ll be on your way to better sleep in no time!
Getting 7 hours of sleep every night sounds like a dream to most, or not enough for others. Studies have shown that those who do engage with a consistent sleep schedule are more likely to sleep better, rest better and feel better.
To get the best sleep possible, it’s important to create a sleep environment that’s dark and cool, establish a consistent sleep routine, and disconnect from technology before bed. Additionally, natural ingredients and supplements like chamomile tea and melatonin can also help promote better sleep.
So go ahead, make sleep a priority, and get ready for a happier, healthier, and more rested you. Sweet dreams!