Getting the Zzzz’s
Have you ever wondered why many people are so chipper in the morning? Some people are just naturally that way while some people aren’t. It mainly comes down to getting a good night’s sleep. In this paper I will tell you about how good sleepers have overall better health because good sleepers tend to have good mental health, good sleep quality improves your concentration and lastly, good sleepers tend to have more of a regular diet.
Getting a good night’s sleep is linked to good mental health. Mental health is not just about “the mind”, it goes a lot further and deeper than that. It also includes your “self-esteem”. A more consistent sleep cycle will help you feel better and when you feel good from a good night’s sleep, you feel good about yourself. Many people say “Oh, just catch up on sleep over the weekend.” Do not do that. This will make it harder to develop a sleep pattern. There was a survey done and the results say that 90% of people with depression complain about poor sleep quality. (Joe Leech)
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The way good sleep quality is defined as falling asleep within 30 minutes or less. If it takes longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep, you are either going to bed too early or engaging in too many stimulating activities before bed. Another bonus that helps with good sleep quality is your bed is only made for two things: sleep and sex. Trying to minimize other activities in bed, for example, watching TV, eating, scrolling through your phone, doing anything work-related. Your bed is made for sleeping and a time to relax and melt away the stresses of the day. (Harvey)
If you have trouble getting to sleep, many researchers say increase your light during the day. Your body has a natural clock known as your circadian rhythm and when you increase your daytime light keeps your circadian rhythm healthy. This increases your energy during the daytime and also helps sleep quality at night. In addition, reducing your blue light exposure, which is a major reason why you can’t get to sleep. Many people who leave a TV on at night or people scroll through Facebook or use their cell phones right before bed is tricking their brain thinking its still daytime. This reduces the levels of melatonin, which help you relax and gets you to sleep. Ways to reduce your blue light exposure is to put down the phone, stop watching TV and turn down any bright lights two hours before bed. Also limiting your caffeine intake during the day will help to get to sleep faster. Caffeine can stay in your system for 6-8 hours. Therefore, drinking large amounts of caffeine past 3-4pm in the afternoon is not recommended. (Rudy Mawer)
Good sleep quality is linked to improved concentration and productivity. Researchers say good sleep is linked to improved memory, problem-solving skills, and basic functions of everyday life in both adults and children. (Joe Leech) Without hesitation, children need more sleep than adults but it’s also important that as adults we set good examples for them as they grow up and learn to take care of themselves, mentally and physically.
With further testing, researchers have done the following testing by teaching their subjects new skills and then scanning their brains after a period of time with or without sleep. When people have a chance to sleep, for example, after practicing a skill similar to piano scales, the centers of the brain that control speed and accuracy are more active than those regions in people who haven’t slept. (National Sleep Foundation)
Lastly, getting a good night’s sleep helps with daily eating habits. More than half of people who have good sleeping habits get up early and walk or go to the gym in the morning. Not getting enough sleep leads to higher ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates appetite, and they have reduced levels of leptin, another hormone that suppresses appetite. (Joe Leech). Sleep researchers have run a test on people who get lack of sleep and not only are their hormone levels down, short sleepers also consumed less vitamin C and selenium, two key antioxidant nutrients, and lutein and zeaxanthin, plant chemicals that reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. (Zied)
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Many ways to fix how eating habits when you’re not getting the right amount of sleep is to aim for three meals and one snack, spaced every three or four hours. Eating this way will help you avoid hunger and mindless eating throughout the day. An additional way to help with eating habits is taking a rest when your mind and body when you are overly tried, even if it’s only 10-15 minutes, to reset the ghrelin levels that prevents you from overeating. A 2012 Mayo Clinic study compared the eating habits of people who got the sleep they needed to function for daily activities to those who only logged two-thirds of their required rest time for eight days, and found that subjects who were sleep-deprived ended up eating an average of 549 extra calories each day (which could lead to the gaining of one pound per week if the habit persisted). (Doheny)
In this paper, you read how important getting a good night’s sleep is linked to mental health and how and what defines a good night sleep as falling asleep in 30 minutes or less and also explain how to minimize activities in bed such as eating and watching TV. As well as mental health is important, we also focused on how sleep improved memory and problem-solving skills in both children and adults. Sleep is needed for learning skills whether you think about it or not. Getting a good night’s sleep as helps with daily eating habits and hormone levels. Eating habits and a good night’s sleep go hand-in-hand by eating every three or four hours and taking a rest when you get tried, even if it is only for 10 minutes to reset your hormone levels. Bottom line, as adults we need to take better take of yourselves, physically and mental by getting a good night’s sleep.
- Doheny, Kathleen. WebMD. 14 March 2012. Website. 15 Feb. 2019. <https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20120314/sleep-less-eat-more#1>.
- Harvey, Allison G. US National Library of Med. 1 March 2008. Website. 15 Feb. 2019. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2276747/>.
- Joe Leech, MS. Health Line. 28 June 2018. Website. 15 Feb. 2019. <https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important#section1>.
- National Sleep Foundation. n.d. Website. 15 Feb. 2019. <https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/performance/improve-your-memory-good-nights-sleep>.
- Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN. Health Line. 2 Nov. 2018. Website. 15 Feb. 2019. <https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-tips-to-sleep-better#section4>.
- Zied, Elisa. U.S News. 26 Feb. 2013. Website. 15 Feb. 2019. <https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/02/26/how-too-little-sleep-affects-how-we-eat>.
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