When you sleep less than your body needs, you build up a so-called ‘sleep debt.’ Such debt of sleep accumulates: do you sleep two hours less than you need every night this week? Then at the end of the week, you have already built up fourteen hours of sleep debt! Sleeping in one Saturday morning is not a big dent in that. Your body remembers your sleep debt until you redeem it by consistently sleeping more than you need.
Tips to sleep better
Don’t you fall asleep? Or are you not sleeping well? Good ‘sleep hygiene’ (or sleep health) is essential for a healthy body and brain. We have listed a few tips for better sleep for you.
- Keep a steady rhythm: go to bed at a fixed time and get up at a fixed time.
- Provide a quiet bedroom with no distractions, such as your phone or laptop. Use earplugs if you are bothered by ambient noise.
- Make sure your bedroom temperature is about 18 degrees.
- Engage in relaxing activities before bed, such as reading, yoga, meditation, or walking.
- Exercise sufficiently so that you are also physically tired in the evening. But exercising just before you go to sleep doesn’t work.
- Use your evenings for some intimate quality time: sex stimulates the production of hormones that make you feel relaxed and sleepy.
- Write down your thoughts if you tend to worry in bed.
- Do not drink coffee, black tea, soda, or other caffeinated or high sugar drinks right before bed.
- Avoid taking naps too often during the day. This can disturb your natural sleep-wake rhythm.
- Do not drink alcohol, use drugs, or smoke. These three things contribute to a less good night’s sleep.