Who’s The Boss?
Your brain is a complicated organ that does a lot of tasks simultaneously. Sleep scientists are beginning to realize that sleep deprivation can cause a “disconnect” between the part of your brain that produces emotions like fear and aggression and the part that regulates it (or makes sure that you express your feelings in a socially acceptable way). What does that mean to a layperson? If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re not as much in control of what you say and do as you think you are. Your feelings–particularly your bad feelings–are more intense, and how you react to them is equally intense.
What’s The Solution?
While it can be disturbing to learn that a night without sleep can affect you in the same way as having a couple of drinks, the fix is simple: go to bed. Make sure that your mattress isn’t giving you insomnia, and then act to prioritize sleep. Once sleep is restored, the brain’s self-regulating mechanism is restored, too. Turns out “let’s sleep on it” is wise advice!
So what are some ways you can make sure you’re getting enough sleep? You can take action tonight with these simple steps:
Avoid screens 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Sleep in a dark, cool room.
Avoid exercising within 1-2 hours before bed.
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
When considering how much sleep you need, scientists advise that a healthy adult requires anywhere between 7-9 hours per night. The simplest way to determine what time to go to bed is to begin with the hour your alarm will go off in the morning, and count backwards for until you hit 8 hours.
Make sure your mattress is appropriate for you. If you wake up sore or with a stiff back or neck, you could need a new mattress. Most mattresses should be replaced at least every 10 years.
Good sleep is important for your physical health, but now we know it’s important for your mental health, as well. Relationships are important–don’t you think yours deserves a good night’s rest?
How Sleep Makes You Smarter – www.dailygood.com
Choosing The Best Mattress – bettersleep.org