Sleep is crucial to good health. Sleep helps the body slow down, self-repair, and rejuvenate for the next day’s activities. Modern-day and metropolitan living don’t appreciate the concept of sleep. But it is a critical factor for productivity and concentration.
Ever wondered why commuters and sometimes your colleagues are cranky early in the morning? It is most likely because they are sleep-deprived. Combining multiple jobs, stress, a noisy environment are factors that affect sleep and inevitably also affect people’s mood. Research reveals that mood and sleep are connected and a lack of sleep causes irritability and stress.
Also, mood is a determinant for sleep. Anxiety and stress trigger the fight-or-flight response, which increases arousal and agitation. This makes it more challenging for the body to quiet down and get to a state of rest where sleep can be facilitated. The amount of sleep you get can set the tone for the entire day, hence the need to pay more attention to sleep.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
The amount of sleep required varies throughout an individual’s lifetime. Infants need about 17 hours of sleep per day, while a child needs over 10 hours of sleep. Adults require an average of 8 hours of sleep for optimal functioning. The amount of sleep needed could also vary based on some lifestyle choices.
Consumption of products that contain caffeine can affect sleep patterns. Those who consume caffeine consistently for long periods might discover that they need less sleep. Extensive exposure to blue light also affects sleep patterns. Late-night meals and poor environments play a role in how much sleep an individual gets, which usually has adverse effects in the long run.
As people get older, they often get less sleep. This is because the human body produces less melatonin as it ages. Another factor responsible is changes to the internal body clock. The older people become, the less they go outside and get exposed to sunlight, which is a cue to the body’s internal clock.
What Is Sleep Quality?
Sleep quality refers to how rejuvenating your sleep is. This differs from sleep duration. You could sleep 8 hours and not feel rejuvenated. So how do you know when you’re getting quality sleep?
There are four indicators to assess sleep quality: sleep latency, sleep-waking, wakefulness, and sleep efficiency. Sleep latency is an assessment of how long it takes you to fall asleep when you hit the bed. Sleep waking assesses how often you wake up in the middle of the night.
Wakefulness measures the duration you stay awake during the night and sleep efficiency is the time you actually spend sleeping. If it takes you longer than 30 minutes to sleep then you might have poor sleep quality. If you need more than 20 minutes to fall back to sleep after waking up at night, that’s also a symptom of poor sleep quality.
How Does Sleep Affect Mood?
When you don’t get enough sleep, you become easily irritable and less productive. There is also a correlation between lack of sleep and psychological disorders, chiefly anxiety. Studies show that lack of sleep results in a greater risk of anxiety and people who had insomnia were 20 times more likely to develop a panic disorder. Sleep deficiency over a long period also increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Insomnia has also been an indicator to determine depression and psychiatric disorders. A study revealed that people who slept less than 5 hours a night for a week were more stressed, sad, angry, and mentally drained.
How Can You Improve Sleep Quality?
An active lifestyle throughout the day is one of the most guaranteed ways to sleep better. Studies show it also helps to reduce symptoms of insomnia. Taking out electronic devices also helps reduce the likelihood of using the gadgets during bedtime. Blue light emitted from devices inhibits the body from producing melatonin that aids sleep.
Take melatonin gummies to promote sleep or drink herbal tea. For those who struggle to sleep, melatonin supplements is one of the easiest solutions. Herbal tea also provides a solution when incorporated into your night routine. You can also create a more peaceful environment by introducing pleasant aromas, reducing light exposure, and optimizing room temperature.
Also, avoid consuming caffeine late in the day as it stimulates the nervous system and makes it difficult for the body to rest. A bath close to bedtime will help regulate body temperature and facilitate quality sleep.
Mood and sleep are two phenomena that are interrelated. To improve sleep is to improve one’s mood and vice versa. If you have been feeling very stressed and exhausted for no obvious reason, you might want to assess the quality of your sleep. Once you discover those stress points, you can make adjustments to improve your night routine and wake up feeling refreshed.