With the world fully back outside, I have been taking advantage of seeing friends that I haven’t seen in 3 years. Some of them live in different cities and require travel, while others are in New York, like me. For that reason, I’ve spent a large portion of this year catching up on my social life. Which has, of course, been very enjoyable and necessary, but the multiple time zones and lack of sleep have really affected my health, enhancing my digestive issues and doing a number on my typically clear-skin. And after reading about sleep health, I’ve decided to get serious on correcting my sleeping decisions.
A good night’s sleep is essential for replenishment on the mind and body. When we rest, it calms the nervous system and quiets the mind. The better you can to do this, the more recovered you will feel, and makes more resources available to yourself in the coming days. This philosophy is known as restorative sleep.
If you decide to pull an all-nighter, or wake up too early, your body won’t have enough time to fully recover. As we know, you should be sleeping at least 7 hours each night. It is sometimes hard to decide if quantity or quality matter more. Basically, if your quality of sleep is poor, you should focus on getting more hours. Likewise, if your sleep quality is high, you can get away with sleeping less hours — although not strongly recommended.
Whatever you do, you should not be sleeping less than 5 hours a night if you are between the ages of 18 and 64. This will cause you to not be alert, energetic, or focused.
A sleep score of 100 means you have perfect quality sleep, 80-99 is good sleep, 50-79 is moderate sleep, and 0-49 is poor sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is important to improve your mood and memory, your physical appearance through weight maintenance or loss, energy, and performance.
If you feel your sleep score is too low, it is an easier fix to correct the hours in which you are asleep than the quality of those sleep hours. Which is why it’s okay to fixate on the number rather than the quality. The important thing to know is it can be improved. It might just take some change of habit (lifestyle changes, physical activity tracker, and alcohol awareness) in order to restore your sleep hygiene.
Luckily, we know a lot about sleep here. Here’s how you can improve your sleeping habits which an optimal sleeping environment and how climate change is affecting your sleep.
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