According to a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, “20% of Americans report that on average they get less than 6 hours of sleep.” Sleep deprivation is categorized by a lack of sleep, a person sleeping at the wrong time of day, or a sleep disorder. Inhibitors such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, working shifts and long hours can determine whether, or not a person is sleeping enough during the night. Due to sleep deprivation poor work performance, driving accidents, relationship problems, and mood disturbances such as anger and depression have occurred. Also, serious health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity have been the result of long-term loss of sleep. Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to early death. In this blog how to improve sleep will be discussed.

Why do we need sleep?

In order for a person to feel rested and to function at their optimal level during the day, it is recommended that they sleep for about 7 to 8 hours every night. However, the amount of sleep needed depends on the individual because each person has different needs. Sleep is important because it helps people to conserve energy that is needed during the day. Also, it helps the body to repair itself and to enhance muscle growth. The final necessity for sleep is that it helps with brain development and cognitive function. Sleep helps a person to focus and to learn efficiently, and it also plays a role in forming new memories which is important for learning new information.

Tips to Improve Sleep

  1. Avoid caffeine and alcohol four to six hours before going to bed.
  2. Create an environment for sleep in the bedroom. Turn off the computer and television.
  3. Utilize a soothing pre-sleep routine.
  4. Go to sleep when tired.
  5. Stay constant by setting an internal clock.
  6. Avoid naps in the afternoon.
  7. Exercise daily.
  8. Relax.
  9. Use a bright light to manage your circadian rhythm.
  10. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.

10 Tips to Improve Sleep

How does diet influence sleep?

Diet can affect a person’s sleep cycle because certain vitamins and minerals can either keep a person awake, or help them to fall asleep. Food that contain the amino acids tryptophan, magnesium, calcium, and lactucarium helps to activate the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin which are necessary for sleep. These amino acids can be found in:

  1. Turkey
  2. Eggs
  3. Chicken
  4. Fish
  5. Nuts
  6. Cheese
  7. Lettuce
  8. Rice
  9. Cereal
  10. Chamomile Tea

However, the foods that a person should avoid are:

  1. Pasta
  2. Chocolate
  3. Pizza
  4. Chili
  5. Large Volumes of meat.
  6. Caffeine
  7. Alcohol

This group of food should be avoided because it weighs heavily on the stomach making it difficult to sleep at night.

In this blog I have discussed what sleep deprivation is and what occurs when a person is sleep deprived. The importance of sleep was discussed and tips on how to improve sleep were highlighted. Finally, the food that promotes and inhibits sleep were mentioned.


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