Getting solid, regular sleep can be the difference between a happy, healthy life and a miserable, unhealthy life. Many people forego good sleep for one reason or another, but medical science warns of the dangers of this habit. The most recent studies on sleep indicate that foregoing sleep can have an Alzheimer’s-like affect on the brain. Getting any less than eight hours in a night can actually do permanent damage to the brain in the form of brain cells being killed off and being replaced by brain fog. The “eight hours of sleep” rule became a pop culture statement for a while, but with brain studies being released about how vital a long night’s sleep is, it is urgent that people start listening to medical advice and making time for proper sleep.
In order to get a full night’s sleep, there are a number of things to avoid doing. Many people think that certain alcohols or drugs make good sleep aids, but in reality, they have the opposite effect in the long run. Substance abuse creates tolerance and dependency, which drastically disrupt sleep schedules. It is strongly advised that you avoid things that make the brain alert before bed, such as working or exercising. Staring at the blue light of a screen or the bright light of bulbs and sunshine tell your brain to stay awake. Avoid eating large meals as your body’s digestion process can interfere with sleep. And lastly, do not fluctuate your sleep schedule to be at different times of the day or for different lengths as this will prevent your body and mind from falling into a sleep rhythm.
There are a number of things you should make sure to do in order to get a full night’s sleep. If your stomach feels too empty, a light, healthy snack and a natural sleep aid such as tea are the perfect bedtime snack. Sleeping in total darkness will signal brain that it is time to shut down, and will help with the length of sleep. Some people prefer to sleep with a white noise device, such as a fan. If you are restless and want to distract your mind, reading something of neutral content is useful. However, the best practice to get into is to train your brain to turn off when it is time to sleep, ending the rampant flow of thoughts. Take care to sleep at the same time every night for no less than eight hours.