Sleep is a crucial aspect of our well-being, impacting various facets of our lives.
It plays a pivotal role in regulating emotions, weight, the immune system, and cognitive functioning. Contrary to the common belief that everyone needs a fixed eight hours of sleep, individual sleep requirements vary significantly.
Consistency in sleep patterns is essential, benefiting both adults and children. Maintaining a regular bedtime and waking time helps our bodies understand when it’s time to rest. When experiencing difficulty falling asleep or waking up at night, it’s advisable to get up and engage in a different activity to associate the bed with sleep.
Daytime habits greatly influence sleep quality. Exercise and minimizing caffeine and alcohol intake, even in the morning, can impact sleep. Stress also affects sleep, and techniques like mindfulness, relaxation exercises, and journaling before bedtime can help alleviate it.
Reducing screen time before sleep, as screens emit sleep-disrupting blue light, is advisable. Maintaining a cooler room temperature, around 16-19°C, can facilitate better sleep.
Additionally, understanding that adolescents have different sleep patterns, with biological reasons for staying up late, suggests the need for schools to consider more flexible start times to accommodate their natural sleep cycles.
This article has been adapted from this original article published on Science Focus.
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