Here are the 10 most frequently asked questions about sleep, its importance, recommended sleep time and sleep quality:
Why is it important to get a good night’s sleep?
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health. Here are some reasons why it is important to get enough sleep:
- Improves focus and recall: During the rest period, the brain strengthens memories and regulates mood, which contributes to improved concentration and memory.
- Aids repair and healing: While we sleep, internal organs and processes work hard to maintain energy and molecular balance, which helps the body repair and heal.
- Improves mood: Getting enough sleep helps regulate mood, decreasing aggression and anxiety.
- Improves physical performance: Adequate sleep is associated with improved physical performance, which can be beneficial for daily activities and exercise.
- Reduces the frequency of illness: Getting enough sleep strengthens the immune system, which can help reduce the risk of illness.
- Maintains a healthy weight: Lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of weight gain, as it can affect levels of hormones that regulate appetite.
- Improves interpersonal relationships: Getting enough sleep helps you to be more alert, optimistic and have better relationships with people.
- Improve your mental health: A connection has been made between lack of sleep and an increased risk of mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.
- Improve your cardiovascular health: Getting enough sleep is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and heart attacks.
How much sleep is recommended for adults?
The amount of sleep recommended for adults may vary depending on the sources consulted, but it is generally considered that most adults need between 7 and 8 hours of good quality sleep each night. Some sources mention that sleeping less than 7 hours per night on a regular basis may be related to poor health, such as weight gain.
On the other hand, there are people who demonstrate good mental and physical health with only 6 hours of sleep. It is also important to consider the quality of sleep and maintain a consistent and regular sleep schedule, which will allow us to wake up feeling rested.
What are the symptoms of not getting enough sleep?
Symptoms of not getting enough sleep can vary from person to person, but some of the most common signs include:
- Experiencing difficulty falling asleep during the night.
- Waking up several times during the night.
- Waking up early and not being able to fall back to sleep.
- Not feeling fully rested after sleep.
- Experiencing excessive fatigue during the day.
- Feeling drowsy during the day.
- Frequent yawning.
- Having difficulty learning, concentrating and reacting.
- Experiencing difficulty understanding the emotions and reactions of others.
- Having trouble making decisions, solving problems and managing emotions and behaviour.
- Experience disturbances in the immune system, increasing the risk of illness.
- Experience increased appetite and changes in body weight.
- Having difficulties with coordination and balance, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.
- Experience poor cognitive performance, affecting mental alertness and clear thinking.
- Experience mood disturbances such as anxiety and depression.
- Affected school, work and social performance.
On the other hand, some people demonstrate good mental and physical health on only 6 hours of sleep. It is also important to consider the quality of sleep and to maintain a consistent and regular sleep schedule, which will allow us to wake up feeling rested.
If you have difficulty falling asleep or feel tired when you wake up frequently, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor.
How can I improve the quality of my sleep?
If you have trouble falling asleep, here are some tips that can help you improve your sleep:
- Keep a regular bedtime routine, going to bed and getting up at the same time every night, even on weekends. This helps train your body and mind to relax and prepare for sleep.
- If you can’t fall asleep after 15 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet, relaxing activity, such as reading a book, until you feel drowsy.
- Create a restful environment in your bedroom, making sure it is dark, quiet and at a comfortable temperature.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and heavy meals before bedtime, which can interfere with your ability to fall asleep.
- Limit naps during the day and avoid taking naps too close to bedtime.
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing, before bedtime to help calm your mind and body.
- Avoid using electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, before bedtime, as the blue light they emit can interfere with your sleep.
If your sleep problems persist, consider talking to a health professional.