Most of us struggle in getting enough sleep for various reasons. Some of us spend extra hours at work to deliver great results and exceed expectations. Others, on the other hand, choose to forego sleep in order to have more time for hobbies. As a result of irregular sleep patterns, our bodies will start acting up.
One of the effects of irregular sleep patterns is always feeling tired regardless of the amount of sleep we get. In effect, we find ourselves habitually hitting the snooze button when we wake up to our alarm during the weekdays; or we end up sleeping away our weekends.
Another effect of the irregular sleep patterns is the sudden energetic feeling we get at the wrong times. These are the moments when we feel extremely energetic when it is time for us to sleep or during days when we have only clocked in a few hours of sleep.
These effects allow us to realize that the quality of sleep we get is of far greater importance than the number of hours of sleep we get.
Individuals of different ages need varying amounts of sleeping hours. School children are recommended to get 8 to 10 hours. Adolescents need between 7 to 10 hours. Adults and elderly can function on a minimum of 6 hours.
The number of hours required per age group is necessary for the body to repair and restore normal levels of activity. A hormone that stimulates bone and muscle growth is released while an individual is asleep. This allows the body to use fat better and improve metabolism. Another example is the regulation of hormones that stimulate hunger and recognize fullness.
Correcting our sleeping habits start with sleeping at the proper time. However, we are fully aware that doing so will not be easy since our bodies have already adjusted to the irregularities in our schedule. We’ve listed down simple food tricks that can help you sleep faster when you need to do so:
- Less caffeine: consume less food and drinks with caffeine because it stimulates the nervous system. Instead, eat more food that contain calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and zinc to boost sleep.
- Less alcohol: consume less alcohol because it disrupts sleep.
- Drink milk: dairy products such as milk and cheese contain an amino acid that helps induce sleep.
- Apply essential oils: apply essential oils like lavender and chamomile, which have a calming effect.
Remember, sleep isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.