Written by Gurleen Khaira
Sleep is a vital process our mind and body needs. Sleeping helps your body repair blood vessels, organs and muscles. It helps your brain learn new skills and information more easily, and increases your attention. Sleep deficiency has been related with heart disease, kidney disease, and depression (NIH, 2018). And sleeping too little is not the only problem. Sleeping too much also poses consequences for our body, with studies revealing that those who sleep for more than 9 hours have a higher risk of dementia and alzheimer's than those who sleep between 6-9 hours (National Sleep Foundation, 2019). Therefore, it is imperative for your physical and mental health that you get the right amount of sleep. So, here are 5 steps to help you get a better sleep.
1. Screen free room
We have all come across a social media post or article Discussing the negative impact of computer/phone screens on our health. Turns out, there is some truth to this. Your phone screen, and most other screens, have blue wavelengths. Whilst this blue light is beneficial during the day as it helps to increase reaction rates and attention, they are not so good before going to bed. Basically, blue light reduces your body’s production of a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone which helps you sleep. Therefore, the blue light on your screens reduces the hormone which helps you sleep. It is recommended to avoid screen time for 2 hours before you go to sleep (Harvard Health publishing, 2018). Simple things like
2. Avoid caffeine
Remember every morning when you feel sleepy and tired, how a cup of coffee can help boost your energy and get you ready for work? Well, coffee has the same effect at night. Just like it boosts your energy during the day, coffee also make you more energized and alert at night, which prevents your body from naturally relaxing. It also stays in your bloodstream for a reasonable amount of time, so it is recommended to avoid caffeine for 6-8 hours before you go to sleep (Mawer, 2018).
3. Create the ideal room environment
Your bedroom environment can have an impact on how sleep. Whilst everyone’s preferences are individual, things like furniture arrangement, noise, and temperature can influence the quality of your sleep. Studies highlight that a slight increase in your body or room temperature can disrupt your sleep and increase wakefulness. Therefore, it is recommended to maintain a room temperature of 20°C (Mawer, 2018).
5. Avoid long naps
When you come home from work and are feeling tired, it is easy to lie down on the couch and take a nap. However, this actually disrupts your sleep. Taking naps can confuse your internal body clock meaning your body does not think it is time to sleep at night. Moreover, you should try to have a regular sleep pattern, which means to avoid sleeping in on weekends. This is because irregular sleep patterns can change melatonin levels, and therefore disrupt your sleep (Mawer, 2018).
How can MindMate help?
The MindMate app offers many fun workouts at different levels to help you keep active. As discussed, this can help you get a better sleep. The app also allows you to track your sleep pattern by logging in how many hours you have slept in a digital diary.