After a long day of work, our body needs to rest and undergo its much-needed repair. Yes, our marvelous body repairs itself during sleep. If you do not get 8 hours of sleep, it means that some parts of your body have not been completely rejuvenated. When this happens day after day, month after month and year after year, the body would develop health problems. However, if you really do not have the luxury of 8 hours of sleep time, then you need to be able to enter into deep sleep whenever you are resting.
In a 2005 poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, the data collected was compared with those of the previous poll which was carried out in 1998. The comparison revealed some pretty discouraging trends. There are more Americans in 2005 getting less than 6 hours of sleep compared to 1998, while the number of Americans still getting the healthy 8 hours of sleep has fallen in 2005. This highlights a trend seen in developed countries, in which the average number of sleep hours is inversely related to the living standards of the country. Sadly, this study suggests that people are working longer hours to maintain their living standards, but at the expense of their health.
According to medical studies, the human growth hormone (HGH) is released into our body during sleep and one of the functions of the HGH is that it helps to regulate our body's cholesterol. It does this specifically by lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol level. Therefore, it is very important for someone who is to lower his or her cholesterol to get enough sleep.
These are ways of promoting deep sleep:
1) Early to bed, early to rise;
2) Maintain a regular daily bed and wake time schedule, including on weekends;
3) Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine (e.g. taking a bath or relaxing in a hot tub or listening to soothing music);
4) Eat an apple 30 minutes before bed time. It promotes deep sleep.
5) To ease back pain, sleep on one side of your body, with knees bent slightly, and better still have a bolster in between your legs for further skeletal support. If you prefer to lie on your back, remember to raise your feet slightly using a pillow. This promotes blood circulation which should enhance your sleep;
5) Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow (invest in good beddings if necessary);
7) Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex. Keep computers, televisions out of the bedroom;
8) Exercise regularly, but complete your workout at least 3 hours before bedtime;
9) Finish dinner at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime. If dinner is served late, eat a light one;
10) Create a sleep-conducive environment that is totally dark, quiet and preferably cool and comfortable. Draw all curtains before getting into bed;
11) Avoid alcohol as it can disrupt your sleep.
12) Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) and nicotine (cigarettes) 2-3 hours before bedtime;
13) If you are hungry, you cannot sleep well. Munch on plain rice crackers (unsalted, unsweetened type) and have a small glass of warm water;