5 Secrets To Getting A Good Night’s Sleep
A sleep doctor lets us in on to the scientific but simple ways to catch those Z’s, and how to banish sleep debt
Have you ever gone to bed, promising to sleep at 10:00pm, only to stay up the whole night binge-watching your favorite TV series? Or have you taken your work home, propped up against a pillow, typing into your laptop into the wee hours of the morning?
If you find yourself doing this on a regular basis, all the while complaining of tiredness the next day, then you aren’t practicing good sleep hygiene.
“Sleep hygiene is essential to a good night’s sleep,” says Dr. Keith Aguilera, head of Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center at St. Luke’s Medical Center. At his talk at the recent “Nurture Life With A Sound Sleep” event with Uratex, the Sleep Specialist, held to celebrate World Sleep Day, the doctor warns that not getting enough sleep will lead to “sleep debt.” This type of “debt” is the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep over a period of time. A large sleep debt will eventually cause mental or physical fatigue.
Dr. Aguilera explains that every human being has a circadian rhythm, which is an internal clock controlled by your hypothalamus that determines your sleeping and waking patterns. Your circadian rhythm establishes your wakefulness and sleepiness throughout the day, and this rhythm changes as you age (like the fact that older people sleep less).
Other external factors like darkness, light, illness, and other disturbances also upset this circadian rhythm. This can be avoided by practicing proper sleep hygiene. Here’s how:
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