Have you ever felt that your need for sleep suddenly goes up without warning? Does it feel like your body has a strong physical need for sleep, and it seems like you can’t do anything else until you get that required rest? If you’re like most, you may be experiencing what is commonly referred to as “sleep debt.” This is a condition that results when you don’t get as much sleep as you should over a period of time. As a result, your body wants to sleep more to compensate for it. While this may seem like your body’s normal way of trying to balance itself out, it’s actually not healthy for you.
Besides making you feel tired continuously throughout the day, not getting enough sleep every night may lead to weight gain as well as health issues such as heart disease, and diabetes. In addition, if you sleep less than six hours or less on average, you are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and stress. Need to balance out your sleep debt? Here are 5 easy ways you can get the sleep that you need, starting today!
1. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule.
Your body has a natural internal clock—known as its circadian rhythm—that is designed to keep a consistent schedule. By aiming to go to bed and wake up at the same times every day, your body will begin to adapt to this schedule, making it easier for you to fall asleep faster and wake up easier, too.
2. Expose yourself to daylight.
Draw back the curtains, sit out on the porch, or take a walk outside! The more you expose your body to natural sunlight after you wake up, the more your body’s internal clock is able to recognize when it’s time to wake up versus when it’s time to go to sleep.
3.Take a stroll.
This can be as simple as taking a 30-40-minute walk outside. Studies have shown that people with insomnia who took a walk for this amount of time were able to sleep longer and wake up feeling more energized and refreshed compared those who didn’t walk.
The feeling of isolation can easily interfere with healthy sleeping habits and also increase your stress levels. Try socializing with family or friends before you go to bed; in studies, it’s been associated with a longer sleep duration, and also increases REM sleep.
5. Adjust your thermostat.
Have you ever wondered why you feel sleepier when it’s colder? It’s because naturally, your body lowers your body temperature to initiate sleep. You can quick-start this process by adjusting your thermostat so that your bedroom is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.