This Comprehensive article by HelpGuide on Sleep is well written. Each person needs a different amount of sleep, at different ages. Lack of sleep has negative health consequences: increasing risk of diabetes, heart disease, fatigue, chance of depression; reducing decision making abilities, ability to think critically, creatively, and reduced ability to cope with stress. Sleep deprivation is similar to drunkenness.
To prepare for sleep, it is advised to have a consistent routine, so that your body is habituated to feel sleepy after doing that routine. It is also good to begin shutting off lights and dimming your room gradually, to simulate the sunset, which is our natural trigger for going to sleep.
It is normal to wake up in the middle of the night. Just go back to sleep right after.
What happens when you sleep? Well, during the day your brain uses energy and produces waste. This waste goes no-where UNTIL you sleep: that’s when it gets cleaned up. So it’s important to clean your brain by sleeping! Hence it clears your mind and you wake up refreshed when you sleep. Data from Ted Talk by Jeeff Llinff
From my Doctor
- Don’t eat big meals within 1-3 hours of sleeping (digesting horizontally is not good for your stomach and also disrupts the quality of your sleep)
- Don’t exercise within 4-6 hours of sleeping (exercise earlier in the day, because exercise energizes your body making it harder to sleep)
- Sleeping before 12AM is best because (Chinese Medicine) your body systems have a circadian rhythm for resting and cleaning and it begins around 11PM.
- (Personal Experience) Drink enough water prior to sleeping so that you don’t get dehydrated during sleep–your body may wake you up so you can drink water, causing interrupted sleep.
If you exercise, you need more sleep than the average person. According to this ESPN article, “Roger Federer and LeBron James have said they sleep an average of 12 hours per day, compared to about 7 hours for the average American. Usain Bolt, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Steve Nash sleep up to 10 hours per day.” According to an infographic, lack of sleep reduces your performance.
Q: Why does sleeping to much make me feel even more tired A: “our “sleep clock” as they refer to it is actually a group of cells in a part of your brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. We also refer to this as a circadian rhythm. Sleep is regulated by two processes, the “sleep clock” (your circadian rhythm) and a sleep drive (this builds throughout the day and is associated with a buildup of a neuromodulator called adenosine). If you “oversleep” your sleep drive may be low but your circadian rhythm is thrown off (it’s regulated by consistency and especially waking up at the same time daily). In essence it’s confused. This confusion causes some people to feel more rested and some people to feel more sleepy. One additional curve-ball in this is that if you “oversleep” you may sometimes be waking up in the middle of a sleep-cycle which will also cause you to feel sleepy for a period of time.” – Reddit
More Knowledge, More Power
- How to Become a Morning Person
- Yoga Poses to Cure Insomnia
- Sleep is needed to clean out the brain – NYTimes
- Extended Sleeplessness Leads to Irreversible Brain Damage – US News
- What is the best sleeping position for humans? – Reddit
- Strategies for Quality Sleep – Australian Government Sports Health
- Best Kept Secrets of Sleep – Quora