However, experts say that if you feel drowsy during the day, even during boring activities, you haven’t had enough sleep.
The infographic above shows how sleep quality, patterns, and duration may vary among countries, but one thing’s clear─people still aren’t getting enough sleep.
Why Sleep Is Important
Roughly 62% of adults worldwide feel that they don’t sleep well when they go to bed.
Losing just one or two hours of sleep per night can have the same impact on motor and cognitive functions as going without sleep for a full day or two.
Experts have long emphasised that developing good sleeping habits can help to maintain our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Ongoing sleep deprivation can also cause severe, long-term health conditions:
- Heart disease and heart failure
- Weak immune system
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
Drowsiness has been a significant factor in roughly 100,000 car accidents every year, causing an estimated 1,500 deaths.
Sleep deficiency has also been linked to a number of disasters, such as airplane and boat accidents, and even nuclear reactor meltdowns.
Developing Good Sleeping Habits
Sleep is often the first to be neglected with our hectic schedules. Here are a few ways to practice better habits for a good night’s sleep.
Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day─even on weekends─to establish a more ingrained rhythm for your body clock and help your brain better prepare for sleep.
Pick a time of day that suits your schedule and energy levels, and be sure to stick with it. Exercise helps to balance melatonin and cortisol levels throughout the day.
Get outside often during the day and reduce the time spent outside at night. Limit screen time at least 30-60 minutes before sleep.
Food and Drink
Avoid eating large meals or drinking alcohol or caffeine in the last couple of hours before you go to sleep. Caffeine effects can linger for up to 8 hours, which breaks natural sleep rhythms.
Recent studies have shown that mind-body treatments for insomnia such as yoga, tai chi, and meditation had positive impacts on improving sleep quality.
Set the bed for success—keep your room cool and dark, buy a high-quality mattress and comfortable bed linens and use a white-noise machine to help you fall asleep.
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our health; it’s also one of the easiest to neglect. Don’t put yourself into sleep debt─get enough shut-eye to enjoy those sweet dreams.
Source: Visual Capitalist