4 Useful and Scientific Facts About Sleep

4 Useful and Scientific Facts About Sleep
There’s a lot of misinformation going around the web regarding the topic of sleep. This prevalence of misinformation on sleep education is spreading bad practices, harming people who rely on the Internet for sound advice on improving sleep and beating insomnia. This article aims to correct these practices by stating simple, basic, and scientifically-backed facts on what modern science knows about human sleep.

150 minutes of Weekly Exercise Improves Sleep

A study by the National Sleep Foundation involving more than 2,600 18 to 65 year-old men and women has found that 150 minutes of weekly exercise, whether vigorous or just moderate, can improve the quality of the sleep that you get by 65%. Vigorous exercises are stuff like long-distance running, uphill sprinting, push-ups, jump rope, weight lifting, and other activities that will leave you gasping for air. However, you can also combine the hard stuff with moderate activities like Yoga, long hikes, biking, archery, or even tai-chi.

18 to 65 Year-old Adults Need 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep Every Day/Night

Another important recommendation by the National Sleep Foundation is the adequate amount of daily sleep based on a person’s age. These recommendations are from a study in 2015, which was conducted via the systematic review of various international scientificliteraturestackling the relationship between sleep duration, performance, safety, and overall health. You can check out the link to the study itself to see some of the other recommended sleep durations for other age groups. For instance, teenagers aged 14 to 17 need 8 to 10 hours of sleep – so if your teen likes to take long naps in the afternoon, it’s perfectly fine.

Oversleeping is Just as Dangerous as Sleep Deprivation

Based on the recommended sleeping duration's per age via the National Sleep Foundation’s research, you can and should avoid oversleeping. There’s enough scientific proof to conclude that oversleeping is just as bad as not getting enough sleep. Sleeping for too long can contribute to chronic inflammation, which is especially aggravating if you’re prone to gout attacks. Just like lack of sleep, oversleeping also leads to lethargy and impaired cognitive ability – in other words, being under-productive in the workplace. The more serious possible implications of chronic oversleeping are higher risks of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Go ahead and get some extra shut-eye if and when you need it, but if you’re an 18 to 65 year-old adult, try to keep it under 9 solid hours of sleep.

Strict Sleep Schedule > Alarm Clocks

Don’t throw away your alarm clock just yet – well, unless you’re sure that you can wake up on time without it. This is possible by sticking to a strict sleep schedule. Go to bed at the exact same time, every single night, whenever possible. This trains your circadian rhythms into engaging hormonal changes that’ll make you sleepy when your scheduled time to sleep approaches. And as your sleeping time regularizes, so will your waking time. Eventually, as you get used to sticking to a strict sleep schedule, you won’t need an alarm clock. The problem with alarm clocks is that they can end up waking you in the middle of deep sleep, which means waking up extra lethargic and less willing to get out of bed. On the other hand, if you rely on your natural bodily rhythms instead of an alarm clock, you’re bound to awaken with alertness and a willingness to take on the workday.

Author Bio: Randy Vera is a freelance writer, licensed nurse, and sleep enthusiast from Los Angeles, California. After traveling through SE Asia to learn of his heritage, he joined a few of his colleagues at Onebed, an Australian Bed-in-a-Box Startup. He practices Zen meditation daily and prefers living a natural health lifestyle.


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