Sufficient quantity and quality of sleep is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle. In order to work productively and feel positive, an adult needs to sleep 6–8 hours a day. But some, inspired by the rare examples of great people who needed only 2 hours of sleep, prefer to spend the night doing extra work, watching TV or playing computer games. This negatively affects their performance, and during the day they feel tired and overwhelmed. The problem of lack of sleep is especially acute in the winter season, when you want to sleep all the time because of the short daylight hours.
The importance of good sleep for health
Much in a person’s life depends on the quality and quantity of sleep — activity during the day, appearance, sufficient weight and general physical and mental condition. If a person does not sleep enough for a long time, then his mental activity slows down, his working capacity worsens, irritability and a depressed state of mind appear.
What gives the body proper sleep:
restoration of all body systems to improve performance;
processing of information received during the day;
increase the body’s defenses;
improvement of emotional and mental state;
In winter, the lack of sleep is felt especially acutely. As a rule, when people go to work, it is still very dark outside. Twilight comes quite early, and the length of daylight hours is just over 7 hours. The period from November to April in the European part of Russia is also unfavorable for health, as the incidence of viral and colds is increasing. Therefore, in this situation, it is especially important to form habits that will help you sleep better and strengthen your immune system.
Habits for winter sleep
Waking up in the morning in winter is especially difficult, and therefore it seems that healthy sleep is impossible in principle. But subject to certain conditions for organizing a sleeping place and observing the temperature regime, the process of falling asleep and waking up will be much more pleasant.
Developing the following healthy habits will help you feel better in short daylight hours. Therefore, first of all, you should take care of:
air temperature and humidity. Room temperature should be around 19–22°C. If the room is too hot, then there is a risk of waking up with a headache or not getting enough sleep. The humidity level should be approximately 35–40%;
time of falling asleep and waking up. It is best to go to bed and wake up at the same time. It is hardly worth trying to fit yourself to the standards set by successful and famous people if the general condition after 4–5 hours of sleep instead of 7–8 is not the most satisfactory. Each organism has its own characteristics. But if a person sleeps 10–12 hours and after that feels tired and overwhelmed, then this may be the result of health problems;
minimizing the negative aspects of an early rise. Good habits such as getting up instantly instead of an extra five minutes, morning exercises or contrast showers will help here. In the morning, you can also drink a cup of strong coffee, but do not abuse it during the day;
proper nutrition before bed. Too heavy dinner contributes to high blood pressure and the appearance of excess weight. Therefore, you need to have dinner no more than 3 hours before bedtime and do not overeat;
the right choice of duvet and pillow. Most often, blankets with wool, down or synthetic filler are used. Blankets should not be too hard or scratchy. Pillows should be selected taking into account the condition of the spine and changed approximately 1 time in 3–4 years. But the main criterion for bed linen should be its hypoallergenicity.
Sleeping and getting enough sleep is much more pleasant on a comfortable bed, in appropriate conditions, conducive to relaxation and quality rest.
What to do before bed and what not
All actions of a person before going to bed affect its quality. For example, eating too much dinner will lead to discomfort, heaviness in the stomach, and difficulty falling asleep. And, of course, an increased concentration on the stresses and problems experienced during the day does not contribute to quality rest. Experts recommend going to bed and waking up at the same time, as this will help you be more productive during your work day.
What else should you do before bed?
do not drink alcoholic beverages. Contrary to popular belief, they do not help you sleep. More useful would be milk with honey or tea with chamomile;
to improve the process of falling asleep, a walk in the fresh air is well suited;
it is also useful to read a book or listen to pleasant music. But it is better to refuse to use a smartphone, computer or watch TV;
it is undesirable to take a cold shower;
the sleeping area must be ventilated;
be sure to sleep with the lights off, otherwise you won’t be able to get enough sleep;
sleep on a flat surface, neither too soft nor too hard. It is important that nothing squeezes the spine;
when suddenly waking up at night, do not turn on the light or start watching TV. It is better to try to think about something pleasant and lie down calmly.
A comfortable and correct process of falling asleep and waking up is relevant for any time of the year. But in winter, when it seems that you want to sleep all the time, each person can make sure that it is more pleasant to wake up. The fulfillment of this condition is possible only if a person sleeps enough time and feels collected and productive in the morning. In addition, if it gets enough sleep, it helps to strengthen the immune system. Consequently, a person is less sick with colds.
Those who get enough sleep are also less likely to be overweight because they don’t need to get the energy they need from sugary or fatty foods. If you get enough sleep, then even in winter there will be no desire to hibernate so often, and the general condition of the body will improve.