More and more people wonder how to sleep better at night. If you don’t’ feel refreshed when you wake up, read these facts about sleep and follow these tips to help you slumber better.
221 is the number of extra calories you’ll consume if you don’t sleep enough, according to a study by the University of Chicago. Experts believe that being tired leads you to crave fuel in the form of carbohydrates.
90 is the number of minutes per sleep cycle, which is made up of five different phases of sleep. For restorative slumber, most of us need four or five complete cycles every night.
40% is the reduction in your ability to remember new things if you don’t sleep the entire night. The consolidation of a memory occurs during sleep, without it your brain will struggle!
7am is the ideal time to exercise if you try to have a better night’s sleep. A study carried out by Appalachian State University in the US discovered that people who worked out at 7am had a 10% reduction in blood pressure at night (which can impact our slumber), slept longer and had more beneficial sleep cycles than those who exercised at 1pm or 7pm.
18˚C is the ideal room temperature for a good night’s sleep. A slight drop in your body’s core temperature activates “hit the hay” mode. But if it’s too hot, it may interfere with your body’s natural dip and you may find it hard to fall asleep. On the other hand, if it’s too cold, your body has to work to protect its core temperature.
30 minutes is the perfect length for a power nap in the afternoon. Any longer and you’ll enter a deep sleep, which can leave you feeling lethargic.
9pm is the time you should switch off your tablet and smartphone to stop their blue light interfering with levels of sleep-inducing melatonin. If you need to check your emails, dim the screen and keep it at least 30cm away from your face.
46 is the number of additional minutes of sleep you’ll get by going outside your house. Exposure to sunlight is one of the key cues for developing regular sleep-wake patterns. Morning light is best, because it resets your body clock after slumber.
6.75 is the average number of hours slept on work nights, according to a sleep survey by the National Sleep Foundation. Deep, slow-wave sleep is the most restorative stage; this is when levels of the stress hormone cortisol drop and your body goes into rest and digest mode.
10 million prescriptions are handed out every year for sleeping pills. But there are much better ways to help relieve your insomnia. Sleep is a natural process that can’t be controlled, therefore, you should avoid unnatural night-time rituals, such as hot baths, alcohol or pills. Create a new sleep pattern by going to bed and waking up at regular times and practice mindfulness to help improve sleep.
4-7-8 is a breathing technique, which will help you drop off fast. Exhale through your mouth, then inhale through your nose for the count of four, hold your breath for seven and exhale through your mouth for eight. Repeat three times.
60 is the number of calories burned while you sleep.