The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that more than a third of adults in the US are not able to get enough sleep on a daily basis that makes sleep deprivation a public health epidemic. The World Sleep Society as well has said that sleep deprivation is a global issue. The World Sleep Society is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to enhancing sleep health among people across the world. Sleep professionals from the organization have said that sleep issues have become a global epidemic that affects the health and quality of life of nearly 45 percent of the people around the world. Experts have said that people do not need to live a sleep-deprived life, the way they have learned to wear masks, wash hands frequently and maintain social distance during the COVID19 pandemic, they can learn to sleep properly every night by following sleep hygiene.
Experts have said that sleep hygiene consists of some ways that are useful in training the brain to identify the time of sleep and stay asleep. They have claimed that better sleep is one of the crucial elements for a healthier and longer life. Health experts have noted that many ways to boost the quality of sleep are easy to follow. Health scholars have said that the most important step to get a good sleep is to set up a conducive sleep environment. They have said that the REM or dreaming stage of sleep is usually a lighter level of rest that can be disturbed easily. Therefore, there is a need for a favorable sleep environment for better sleep. People should be careful that they should have comfortable bedding, which is not too hot. As per medical science, people sleep better in a cooler atmosphere that should be around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius.
Experts have said that people should practice a sleep time ritual like taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to soothing music before going off to sleep. People can also try deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, or light physical activities. All these activities teach the brain to wind down. The CDC has said that people need to stick to these practices and should try to go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends or on holidays. Experts have said that the secretion of sleep hormone that is known as melatonin happens in the dark. Many studies have shown that the body generally stops or reduces the production of melatonin when it is exposed to light. Therefore, it is necessary to get rid of light during sleep time, even the blue light from smartphones or laptops from charging is not good for sleep.
Experts have said that people should consider using sleep masks or blocking shades if their bedroom is not dark enough. To read a book, people should use a dim light and avoid using a tablet or e-reader. Dr. Vsevolod Polotsky has said that any LED spectrum light might reduce melatonin levels. Dr. Polotsky heads sleep basic research in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has said that any digital light can reduce the circadian drive while a dim light does not affect in any way.
Health experts have said that while people deal with blue light from smartphones, they should switch off work alerts. People should keep their phones on charging outside the bedroom. People living in a noisy urban setting should run a fan in the bedroom to drown out sudden noises that can disturb their sleep. Many dieticians have said that people should avoid having caffeinated drinks such as coffee, hot chocolate, soda, and tea at least six hours before their bedtime. A cup of green tea or black tea contains nearly 50 milligrams of caffeine. People should not turn to alcohol to relax their nerves and fall asleep. Doctors have said that alcohol might help people fall asleep but it generally traps them in the lighter stages of sleep. The body needs to go through all three stages of sleep, the light sleep stage, the REM stage, or dreaming stage, and deep sleep to fully repair itself.
A heavy and spicy diet might cause heartburn and other digestive issues and it can impact people’s ability to sleep properly. The National Sleep Foundation has recommended that a light snack before bedtime is appropriate. The organization has said that light snack includes nuts, berries, and banana, chamomile, ginger, and peppermint teas. Studies have shown that sugary foods are linked to restlessness and disrupted sleep. Health experts have said that people should reserve their bedrooms for sex and sleep only. People need to train their brains to see the bedroom as a place for a nap. Many studies have revealed that poor quality sleep is linked to lack of libido, weight gain, hypertension, and a weak immune system. In some cases, poor quality sleep can shoot up the risk of paranoia, depression, cancer, dementia, diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases.
Health experts have said that sleeping less than recommended on a daily basis can increase the risk of early death by twofold. They have said that infants need at least 12 to 16 hours of sleep, toddlers require at least 11 to 14 hours of sleep. Preschoolers should at least sleep for 10 to 13 hours each day. School-going kids should sleep for at least 9 to 12 hours, while teenagers should be sleeping for at least 8 to 10 hours considering their exposure to social media.