You probably already know that a lack of sleep can make it hard to concentrate and make you irritable, but did you know how much sleep is ideal?
Finding that perfect sweet spot between not enough sleep and too much sleep is important for all ages, particularly as we age. Studies have shown a link between sleep duration and the risk of dementia and other health conditions.
Studies show that too much and too little sleep can affect your cognitive performance, including visual attention, memory, and how fast you can process thoughts. A lack of sleep can make it difficult to think clearly and make good decisions.
An issue with oversleeping is that it can lead to health problems. For example, people who oversleep are more likely to suffer from obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Due to all of these potential risks, it is vital to have an estate plan in place if something happens to you. Once your estate plan is in place, making your sleep a priority should be your next step to ensure your health and safety.
Here are some tips for getting a better night’s sleep:
- Don’t take too many naps – While it may be tempting to take a midday nap, that nap could wreck your ability to sleep later. According to the Sleep Foundation, the best time to do so is right after lunch if you are going to take a nap. They should only last 20 minutes, so they don’t disrupt your sleep pattern at bedtime.
- Set a sleep schedule – If you wake up and go to sleep at different times each day, your body doesn’t get the opportunity to create a sleep routine. Try putting yourself on a schedule of going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends.
- Decrease your alcohol and caffeine intake at bedtime – While you may think a nightly cocktail helps lull you to sleep, the reality is that both alcohol and caffeine make sleep hard to come by. Experts say you should avoid caffeine and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening.
- Create a calming environment – To help yourself relax and go to sleep, try creating a calming environment at bedtime. Engage in a quiet activity like listening to soft music, reading a book, or trying some gentle stretching for 30 minutes before bed. Turn the lights down and disconnect from laptops, televisions, tablets, and smartphones, which can keep your brain awake.
By giving a few of these tips a try, you may get the perfect amount of sleep each night that your body craves and, in the process, become more mentally and physically healthy.
It is important to note that most studies find that seven hours of sleep is the ideal amount of sleep. Those who experienced seven hours of sound sleep improved their cognitive performance and mental health.
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