Sleep is an incredibly important part of our lives – it helps our bodies heal, recharge and stay healthy to name just a few benefits, but it’s also incredibly easy to find ourselves losing out. With today’s society, many of us are going to bed later and later to make up for hours lost while we’re working, but will also need to get up way before our bodies are ready the next morning in order to make it to work. Whether you’re finding yourself feeling tired during the day, or you’re seeing more extreme signs like crankiness or health issues, discovering whether you’re getting enough sleep and how to fix the issue is important – here is our guide to help you get started.
How Much Do I Need?
The amount of sleep you need per night typically depends on your age, however you need to listen to your own body too. As a guide, the CDC recommends that the following age groups get the following recommended hours of sleep:
- Infant (4-12 months) – 12-16 hours per 24 hours (incl. naps)
- Toddler (1-2 years) – 11-14 hours per 24 hours (incl. naps)
- Pre-School (3-5 years) – 10-13 hours per 24 hours (incl. naps)
- School Age (6-12 years) – 9-12 hours per 24 hours
- Teenager (13-18 years) – 8-10 hours per 24 hours
- Adult (18 years +) – 7 or more hours per 24 hours
Signs You Aren’t Getting Enough
For the most part, it’s probably clear when you haven’t had enough sleep – however, it’s not uncommon for us to feel tired even when we aren’t sleep deprived. For that reason, you can keep an eye out for the following as additional signs that you aren’t getting enough Zs.
- You’re experiencing acne and spot breakouts
- Your eyes are redder or puffier than usual, or you’re developing dark circles
- You’re gaining weight but haven’t changed your diet or routine
- Your usual caffeine intake isn’t enough (if you drink coffee etc.)
- Your moods are lower than usual or you seem to be more irritable than you typically are
- You’re struggling to focus on things or your memory is poor
There are plenty of signs of sleep deprivation that can show differently in different people. If anything has changed for you lately, whether that’s health wise or behaviorally, consider whether you’re getting enough sleep and whether a lack of sleep could be causing the changes.
How Could I Improve My Sleep?
In order to improve not only the amount of sleep you get, but the quality of it too, there are a few things that you can do and incorporate into your daily or nightly routine with ease. These include:
Whichever actions you take to improve your sleep, you need to ensure you remain consistent. This could include a regular bedtime, a set routine, or cutting something out of the run up to bed time completely (e.g. electronics use). This will help you to fall into a better pattern of sleep and help to ensure you’re getting the sleep you need.
Relaxing Before Bed
Taking time to relax before you head to bed will give you a better chance of not only falling asleep quickly, but having a decent and restful sleep overall. Pick out an activity that you find relaxing, whether that’s reading a book, doing a light craft, writing or something else entirely – taking out a bit of time to do some of these activities before you sleep can relax the mind and help you switch off at the end of the day. Why not invest in a new upholstered headboard for a comfortable place to sit? You can rest against the headboard as you read in just as much comfort as an armchair or sofa.
The blue light the electronics emit, particularly TV screens, computer screens, phones, tablets and other screen-based electronics, can stimulate you and your mind before bed. The light risks suppressing the melatonin levels in your body which, in turn, delays sleepiness and can make it difficult to fall asleep. On a base level, just notifications from your phone throughout the night could disturb your sleep and wake you up. Ideally, you should be avoiding electronics for at least an hour before bed, and consider putting your phone on silent or in ‘do not disturb’ mode before you sleep.
Get Exercise During The Day
Exercising during the day can help you improve not only your health, but your sleep too, providing you don’t exercise too close to bedtime. Exercise can help to reduce symptoms of insomnia and studies have even suggested that you could be getting over 40 additional minutes of good sleep per night. Other studies have even suggested that exercise could offer more benefits to insomniacs than medication, reducing time to fall asleep by 55%, total night wakefulness by 30%, and anxiety by 15%.
To find out more about our headboards and how it could improve your relaxation in the evening, feel free to get in touch with a member of our team, today.