Ah, sleep😴 Another naturally occurring process we take for granted, that is…until we lose it! 🧐 Sleep is an essential and necessary daily bodily function that is also part of being healthy. It is through sleep that our body recovers from the day, and it also helps with many biological functions. Getting the necessary sleep brings many benefits to our body, but lack or insufficient sleep comes with a high price for our health, physical as well as mental. Sleep should be a naturally occurring body process, but unfortunately, it is not the case for part of the population.
o What happens to our bodies when we sleep?
According to WebMD , during the stage of deep sleep, our body works to repair our muscles, organs, and cells. During this deep sleep stage, important chemicals that strengthen your immune system circulate through the blood (WebMD). When we sleep, our body recovers from the day, and this also helps with the proper functioning of organs.
o What happens to our bodies when we don’t sleep enough?
When we do not sleep enough, it is inevitable to feel tired the next day. Lack of sleep can affect your day in many aspects; when you are tired, you do not function at the same level you usually do when you are well-rested. Not sleeping can also affect your mood, consequently affecting your relationships. It may also affect your performance at work, school, or even in normal daily activities like driving.
Every adult at some point in their lives will battle or has battled insomnia. But it is very important to be able to differentiate between temporary insomnia and chronic insomnia. When you are often struggling with not sleeping, and nothing will help, it is better to consult a physician about it. At times the condition is more severe, and it requires the assistance and guidance of a professional. There are several effects related to sleep deprivation, and according to Healthline , it is common among US adults. Sleep deprivation has been linked to several health issues; these include high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes (Healthline).
Some studies have also suggested that sleep disorders may lead to obesity.
o How many hours should a person sleep?
As with everything regarding the body, the answer to this question is different depending on the person’s needs, age, etc. But as a general rule for adults, it is recommended to get from 7-9 hours of sleep every night. The CDC  provided a more detailed recommendation of sleeping hours for adults:
· 18-60 years -> 7 or more hours per night
· 61-64 years -> 7-9 hours per night
· 65 years and older -> 7-8 hours per night
Struggling to get those 💤 in? Here are some things you can try
Warm bath: try taking a nice warm bath right before you go to bed; this will help your body relax and aid in finding your sleep.
Screen reduction: Try minimizing the screen usage about an hour before going to bed; that way, your brain is not super active and stimulated with all the images.
Try to dim the lights or using lamps instead of bright lights so that your brain knows that it is almost time for rest.
Chamomile tea: A warm herbal tea will help you relax
Lavender: You can add an infuser for essential oils and turn it on at night with a lavender scent.
Meditation: When you meditate, your body reaches a level of relaxation, as does your mind.
Follow a routine: At times, it is beneficial to follow a certain routine that makes your body aware of what is coming, starting with a set schedule to go to bed and wake up.
Eat a lighter meal in the evening and avoid caffeine later in the day.
Daily workout: It is recommended to have a daily workout routine, but always keeping in mind that it is advisable to exercise at least about 2 hours before bedtime.
o Other resources that can help us achieve our sleeping goals(needs):
There are specifically designed gadgets, apps, mattresses, etc., that track your sleep. It is important to be aware of your sleep patterns, especially if you sleep but never feel rested. Some of the available apps help you figure out what it is that is lacking by showing the number of hours that you spend on each stage of sleep and guide you into knowing how to improve your sleep.
As we have learned, sleep is a daily and very important part of our lives. According to research, we spend approximately 1/3 of our lives doing this. The hours spent sleeping vary per person; as long as you feel well-rested and energized when you are awake, then the hours you sleep are the right ones for you. It is also important to be aware of patterns and pay attention to when we sleep less than what we normally do, struggle to sleep, or feel tired throughout the day.