As a coach I often notice sleep deprived clients not only from their performance but also from their body language. People should know that sleep is important form of rest.

According to national Institute of Health, sleep is a recurring, reversible neuro- behavioral state of relative perceptual disengagement from and unresponsiveness to the environment or in simple terms is a state of reduced physical and mental activity in which consciousness is altered and certain sensory activity is inhibited.

For we to know why we should sleep, we should then be curious to know first what happens during.

The body repairs and recovers {repair muscles, grow bones, manage hormones and sort memories} as well as the brain hence encouraging better physical and mental work for the next day.

Factors that Affect Sleep

It should be noted that there are two types which is rapid eye movement {REM} and non – REM. In which from that we get the five stages of sleep. I would really encourage for further reading on the stages to know what happens on each stage (1)

What determines the amount of sleep we should have been the age and genetics factor. In genetics we see people have different preference on their waking and sleeping time. Some prefer to wake up early while some to sleep late {night owls. This is me.}. This delves much on individual Circadian Rhythm.

On age factor the young ones as well as teens need more sleep to facilitate their growth and development. Just to give a picture a child between 3 to 5 years needs 10 to 13 hours, while 6 to 12 years need 9 to 12 years. In both of this includes also naps within the full day. For the teenagers that is from 13 to 18 years they need 8 to 10 hours sleep while adults need from seven to more per night {this is seven to more full hours not naps to make the seven hours during the day.}. (2)

How to Improve Sleep

  • Reduce blue light exposure {Limit electronic devices such as smart phones} in the evening.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption at night
  • Avoid irregular naps during the day.
  • Have a healthy pattern.
  • Conducive environment. Less distractors, cool temperature, less noise, unnecessary lights etc.
  • Avoid sleeping too full or hungry.
  • A relaxed mind and also through meditation.
  • Comfortable mattress and pillow.
  • Exercise during the day and not during the night.

How it Improves Our Wellbeing

  • Promoting growth especially to the young ones
  • Help in weight management
  • Improve heart health
  • Reduce injury risk
  • Have a better immunity
  • Improve attention span
  • Mood improvement and stress reduction among many more.

In conclusion napping is much important for our general wellbeing. In fact, it is certain and researched that we spend a third of our lives sleeping. So put sleep into consideration.

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