Think staying up all night studying for exams is the best way to be successful at school? Think again.
Sleep is very important in maintaining overall wellness. When you sleep, your body is given the chance to focus on recovering, which is essential to achieving and maintaining great health. Sleep restores balance to the nervous system and brain, and allows for healing, repairing, and rebalancing body chemistry.
Lack of sleep can cause a decrease in energy, inability to concentrate or perform tasks, mood swings, digestive problems, decreased metabolic activity in the brain, and suppressed immune systems.
The average person needs between 8 and 10 hours of sleep every night. The best way to find out how much sleep you require is simply to listen to your own body.
Remedies for Sleep
- Establish a simple, regular routine at bedtime.
- Do something relaxing before you go to bed – take a bath, have a warm drink.
- Exercise on a regular basis (not 3-4 hours before bedtime).
- Minimize external noise and light, and allow for fresh air.
- Avoid drinking alcohol – it may make you fall asleep faster, but your sleep will be restless and you may wake up in the night.
- Avoid caffeine (colas, sodas, coffee, tea, cocoa) and cigarettes – they are stimulants and may keep you up or promote a restless sleep.
- If you have not fallen asleep after 15-20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing until you feel tired (e.g., read, colour).
- Do not take over the counter sleep medications without the advice of your doctor.