Rest and Sleep

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With the increasing need to work hard and even harder to earn a living, hustling has become a normal way of life, thus, making it more difficult to get enough rest let alone adequate sleep. Here is an overview of what rest and sleep connotes, factors influencing the quality and quantity of sleep, dangers of not getting enough sleep and ways of ensuring one gets enough sleep.
Rest connotes a condition in which the body is in decreased state of activity with the consequent feeling of being refreshed while sleep is a state of rest accompanied by inactivity and altered consciousness.
Most people can fall asleep easily and remain asleep until the desired waking time. Conversely, others rarely fall asleep without a struggle and then when they do, sleep is fragmented.
No rigid formula exists for the regular intervals and duration of sleep but it is important that each person follows a pattern of rest that maintains well-being.
Despite individual variations, recommended daily sleep requirement is as follows:

  • Infants : 14 to 20 hours
  • Growing children : 10 to 14 hours
  • Adults : 7 to 9 hours.

A variety of factors influence both the quality and quantity of sleep e.g motivation , culture ,lifestyle&habits, illness, certain medications, unconducive environment, job demands and unreasonable deadlines, extracurricular activities, academic goals e.t.c.
Dangers of not getting adequate sleep or bad sleep pattern are numerous, few are:

  • Decreased competence and productivity at work.
  • Undermined energy and reduced sense of self
  • Risk of sleep-related motor-vehicle accidents.
  • Mental illness or psychiatric disorders e.t.c

Tips on how to get adequate sleep

  1. Have a sleep dairy : This provides more specific data on your sleep patterns over a long period of time with which you can evaluate yourself.
  2. Have a bedtime routine especially for children ,this helps compliance.
  3. Prepare a restful environment : This can be created by having a comfortable bed,clean and tight bed linens, enough bed coverings, desired temperature of the room, adequate ventilation, quiet room,for some it could even be a certain smell or fragrance.
  4. Having a warm bath before going to bed.  Back rub or body massage too helps
  5. Eat appropriate bedtime snacks and beverage that can promote sleep e.g toast, crackers, a glass of fruit juice. Always avoid bedtime foods & beverages that interfere with sleep.
  6. Get your mind off work or work related issues especially when you want to go to bed.
  7. Think about sweet memories or reminisce on good and lovely things.
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