Sleep is a crucial necessity of everyday life that brings with it an abundance of physical and mental benefits, making adequate slumber essential step in establishing a healthy lifestyle. A 2013 study concluded quality sleep can influence mental capacity, daytime alertness and stress. Although, a handful of health and environmental factors exist that can prevent these benefits. This can include psychological barricades such as anxiety, environmental interruptions or dietary influences such as excessive fluid intake. Diminishing these slumber disruptors can allow individuals to reap the rewards that a good night’s sleep can bring forth.
A poor night’s sleep can summon immediate feelings of drowsiness, irritability and delusion, along with an increased risk for a range of long term health complications. A consensus statement produced in 2015 concluded that an insufficient sleep over an extended period of time has been shown to decrease immunity function, increase weight, hypertension, and increase susceptibility to chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. It is recommended an average 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night can reduce the risk of these conditions. To combat the array of health, psychological and environmental factors tampering with the ability to snooze, a few sleeping tactics can be adopted to promote and achieve a serene slumber.
Exercise is an effective and natural activity that can improve sleep quality. A study conducted in 2012 concluded that moderate exercise could be used as an effective method of promoting sleep. Aerobic exercises, such as walking, achieve anti-stress and tiring effects, consequently increasing sleep duration and quality. This tactic is commonly coupled with a variety of sleeping techniques to stimulate slumber. For example, establishing a sleeping routine is a useful technique to maintaining sleeping patterns and durations. Late nights and sleeping in should be avoided to support this routine. Finally, caffeine, nicotine, big meals and liquids before bed should also be avoided to prevent midnight interruptions.
Sleeping is key in establishing a healthy lifestyle. Insufficient amounts of sleep can predispose individuals to a variety of health conditions, whereas quality, consistent slumber can improve one’s physical and psychological health. Medications can provide short term solutions to poor sleep, although by naturally establishing a routine through exercise and regular sleeping patterns, coupled with a handful of devices to promote snoozing, consistent and quality sleep can be attained.
Nicholas Hastie has recently graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Health Science, majoring in Nutrition. He has previous worked alongside a handful of organisations promoting health and nutrition to the community.
Consensus Conference Panel, 2015, “Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: A Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society”, Oxford Academic, available at URL:https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/38/6/843/2416939
Yang, P; Ho Ka-Hou, C; Hsi-Chung, C; Chien, M; 2012, ´Exercise training improves sleep quality in middle-aged and older adults with sleep problems: a systematic review´, Journal of Physiotherapy, available at URL: http://www.journalofphysiotherapy.com/article/S1836-9553(12)70106-6/fulltext#sec0165
Short, M; Gradisar, M; Lack, L; Wright, H; 2013“The impact of sleep on adolescent depressed mood, alertness and academic performance”, Journal of Adolescence, available at URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140197113001139