Getting a good night's sleep is as important as eating a proper healthy diet and exercising to keep a beautiful figure. Because a good nights sleep not only makes your skin look beautiful and fresh but it also helps you concentrate in your work and keeps your brain more alert. Though in a busy lifestyle we always try to sacrifice sleep for work but it is very important that you set aside enough hours for some good old-fashioned beauty sleep. The average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep, while infants need 16 hours of sleep, and teenagers need about nine hours.

The benefits of sleep

Scientists believe that sleep gives our bodies the chance to maintain and repair our bodies and minds. Each night we cycle through three stages of sleep ranging from light sleep to deep sleep, and finally, to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. A complete sleep cycle takes 90 to 110 minutes on average. While we sleep our brains are using important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate from lack of activity. During deep sleep, brain activity that control emotions, decision-making processes, and social interaction shuts down, allowing us to maintain optimal emotional and social functioning when we are awake. Cell growth and cell repair takes place to combat the affects of stress and UV rays in this stage as well. Hence, deep sleep can truly be called beauty sleep. Sleep also helps our bodies fight infection. This is because our immune system releases a sleep-inducing chemical while fighting a cold or an infection. Sleep helps the body conserve energy and other resources that the immune system needs to mount an effective attack.

Dangers of Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep affects our nervous systems by leaving us drowsy and unable to concentrate. Not getting enough sleep also leads to poor memory and physical performance. If sleep deprivation continues, hallucinations and mood swings may develop. In the same vein, sleeping problems are common in both mental and physical disorders including depression and schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, cancer, and head injuries.

For getting a proper sleep at night do the following:

  • Sleep only when sleepy. This reduces the time you are awake in bed.
  • If you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something boring until you feel sleepy. Sit quietly in the dark listen to some nice soothing music. Don't expose yourself to bright light while you are up.
  • Don't take naps. This will ensure you are tired at bedtime. If you just can't make it through the day without a nap, sleep less than one hour, before 3 pm.
  • Get up and go to bed the same time every day. When your sleep cycle has a regular rhythm, you will feel better.
  • Refrain from exercise at least 4 hours before bedtime. Regular exercise is recommended to help you sleep well, but the timing of the workout is important. Exercising in the morning or early afternoon will not interfere with sleep.
  • Develop sleep rituals. Listen to relaxing music, read something soothing for 15 minutes, have a cup of warm milk, and do relaxation exercises.
  • Stay away from caffeine, nicotine and alcohol at least 4-6 hours before bed. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Alcohol may seem to help you sleep in the beginning as it slows brain activity, but you will end up having fragmented sleep.
  • Have a light snack before bed. If your stomach is too empty, that can interfere with sleep. However, if you eat a heavy meal before bedtime, that can interfere as well.
  • Take a hot bath 90 minutes before bedtime. This will relax your body and will make you feel sleepy.
  • Make sure your bed and bedroom are quiet and comfortable.


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