Sleep Matters: How To Get the Best Quality Sleep

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( — February 3, 2023) — A 24-hour day can easily be split into three equal cycles of eight hours each for work, personal activities, and sleep. However, life is rarely that simple.

Work and personal activities tend to look after themselves, but getting good quality sleep is a completely different ballgame.

Numerous studies have shown that establishing a structured bedtime routine and sticking to it is the best way to get the optimum amount of sleep.

Pre-bedtime activities such as meditating, reading a book, or listening to relaxing music have been proven to provide a platform for undisturbed sleep.

However, many experts believe that activities involving digital devices such as smartphones and tablets are much less effective in supporting good quality sleep.

Televisions can also be detrimental to sleep patterns, particularly if the content consumed is of a serious or frightening nature. 

Sleep specialist Dr. Robert S Rosenberg is among a plethora of respected individuals who advise against the use of electronics immediately before bedtime.

He recommends turning them off at least one hour before going to sleep and suggests keeping them out of the bedroom wherever possible.

“Electronic devices such as iPads, iPhones, laptops, and televisions emit light in the blue spectrum,” Dr Rosenberg said.

“This type of light is most disturbing to sleep. It suppresses our melatonin production and in fact delays it.

“This leaves us unable to fall asleep and unable to wake alert in the morning. Blue light emitting devices are a major cause of insomnia in the USA.”

The importance of sleep from a health perspective cannot be underestimated, as this is the time when the body and mind rest and recuperate.

Sleep helps the immune system to repair itself, while several other restorative processes only occur when people are sleeping.

The amount of sleep people needs changes during their life, with adults generally needing an average of seven to eight hours per night to be able to function effectively.

As mentioned earlier, sticking to a sleep routine is the best way to ensure you enjoy minimal or no disruption during the night.

It is a common misconception that people can replace the sleep they have lost by spending longer in bed at the weekend, but this is not the case.

Dr. Kenneth Wright Jr, a sleep researcher at the University of Colorado, led a study that assessed people who have consistently deficient sleep patterns.

Wright and his team discovered that consistently losing sleep and playing catch-up impacted the body’s ability to control blood sugar and contributed to weight gain.

“If you have one bad night’s sleep and take a nap, or sleep longer the next night, that can benefit you,” Wright said.

“But if you have a week’s worth of getting too little sleep, the weekend isn’t sufficient for you to catch up. That’s not healthy behavior.”