Prioritise your Sleep

Alexandra van Stelten

Has anyone ever told you that you look tired?

Have you ever zoned out or fallen asleep in class?

Do you get less than 8 hours of sleep every night?

Do you feel moody or miserable?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you must be exhausted. Are you not tired of being tired? I think it is time you start prioritising your sleep.

When you fall asleep, your body cells are repaired and your energy is restored. Your brain undergoes a cleanse to get rid of disease-casing metabolic by-products. If you deprive yourself of sleep, these toxins accumulate and can be detrimental to your health. Matthew Walker, a sleep expert and scientist, claims all major diseases, such as  Alzheimer’s and cancer, are linked to a lack of sleep. He also says that a good night’s rest improves your ability to learn, regulates your mood, energy levels, and hormones, slows aging and increases your life expectancy. Walker also claims that every major disease, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, are linked to a lack of sleep. It seems that the phrase “sleep is for the weak” is far from the truth.

The Deliciously Ella podcast episode, Five Pillars of Health, featuring Matthew Walker, is an eye-opener to the significance of regulating one’s sleeping pattern. One should sleep for 7-9 hours every night, schedule set times for going to bed and waking up, and when one can help it, avoid sleepless nights. Pulling an all-nighter to study is counterproductive because your memory and concentration improve with proper rest. If you are ever in the situation where you need to choose between sleeping or studying for an extra hour, hit the hay.

If you are one of those people who try to go to bed early, but struggle to fall asleep, here are 3 Healthline tips that are sure to help you fall asleep.

  1. Turn off your cell phone and bright lights 2 hours before bed. Light exposure, especially blue light emitted by electronic devices, deceive our brains into thinking it is still daytime.
  2. Switch to decaf coffee after 2pm. Caffeine can inhibit your ability to relax.
  3. Consult your healthcare provider. If you frequently have sleepless nights, you do not necessarily have a sleeping disorder, but it may be a good idea to rule that out and seek professional help. There are also natural supplements you can take, such as magnesium or lavender oil.

Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more. -Robert A, Heinlein