August 15, 2014
What is a Full Night’s Sleep?
Although there is always a large amount of discussion about the importance of sleeping on a regular schedule and getting a full night’s sleep, not many people actually know how to define that term. It has been said that a full night’s sleep tends to vary from person to person because some individuals require a different amount of sleep than other people do. Other times, there has been a general statistic suggested that claims that everyone needs around 6 to 10 hours of sleep on a nightly basis in order to have a full night’s sleep.
Ultimately, five hours is the bare minimum of time that adults should spend sleeping. Any amount of time beyond that depends mainly on the individual and what their personal schedule is like. Some people have adapted to how their schedules have changed over the years, requiring them to sleep less than they typically would. However, people who have spent a long period of time sleeping only with the minimum amount of hours suggested have also leaned more towards sleep deprivation and insomnia.
For most people, it is generally suggested that they should get a full night’s sleep by participating in a sleep schedule. By setting up a sleeping schedule, the body will become accustomed to specific times when sleeping should occur. This allows for the body to have REM sleep on a regular basis, but in a more balanced setting, which is directly in contrast to the complaints that most insomniacs have of only having an occasional REM sleep.
During the general course of sleeping, there are multiple stages associated with the sleep cycle. These cycles include both REM sleep and NREM sleep. NREM sleep is the restful period of sleep when the body is able to regenerate itself and repair. Despite how people always speak of enjoying REM sleep the most, this part of the cycle is only associated with dreaming in most cases. In order to have what is considered to be a full night’s sleep, individuals would have to pass through all of the stages of NREM sleep (four stages) before they would approach the stage of REM sleep.
Some people suggest that they are able to get a full night’s sleep if they take short naps throughout the day. It has also been suggested that if an individual is able to nap during various times of the day, they can sleep for a shorter period of time during the night and still feel completely rested. There is no specific sleeping schedule or set amount of sleeping time that is ideal for everyone, however.
How to Implement a Sleep Schedule for Yourself
Once you have understood the significance of having a sleep schedule, you may wonder how you are going to implement it into your lifestyle. Although this can seem particularly challenging for those who are dealing with hectic and demanding schedules, it is possible to implement a sleep schedule into almost any type of lifestyle. For some better insight into how you can bring a sleep schedule into your daily life, consider some of the following suggestions.
The first aspect to consider are your daily responsibilities. What are the responsibilities that you have to take care of on a daily basis and when do they need to be fulfilled? If you have to wake up by a certain hour, such as for school or work, then this is going to factor into your sleeping schedule. You should not be going to bed too late within the evening under these circumstances, because you may be preventing your body from getting enough sleep in the process.
Consider the hours when you are usually finished with all of your responsibilities, such as around 9 PM. Depending on what your personal lifestyle is like, you may find it suitable to go to sleep around this hour, which would be fair if you have to get up around 7 AM to go to work. Establishing these types of sleeping hours help to define how much sleep you will be getting on a regular basis, such as 8 to 10 hours per night.
When you have created your set amount of hours for your sleeping schedule, do not forget the importance of staying true to your plan. The common mistake that many people make when dealing with a sleeping schedule is that they only tend to follow it during the week, when it’s absolutely necessary. During the weekend or a day off from work or school, people are more inclined to go to bed at a later time and ignore their sleeping schedule. This ultimately reverses the benefits of the process that you have started with following the sleeping schedule within the past week.
If you feel as if you may become distracted by other tasks initially, there are ways to remember your schedule. Using a timer can be a good way to remind yourself of when it’s time to go to bed and when it’s time to wake up. As you become more accustomed to the hours that you have chosen for your sleeping schedule, it will be easier for you to follow your schedule without any timers or reminders at all.
How to Implement a Sleep Schedule for the Family
After having success with your own sleeping schedule, you may determine that it would be best to incorporate this ideal into your family as a whole. However, this can be difficult if you are dealing with young children or if everyone is operating on a different schedule than what you may already be used to. There are a few ways that you can introduce your family to the idea of using a sleep schedule over an extended period of time. Here are some suggestions to help you get started with improving the sleep schedule for your household.
If you have young children, you should initially think about what time they wake up and typically go to bed, because this aspect is likely to affect you and the rest of the family. Generally, the waking hours of children tends to affect the waking hours of parents because they want to ensure that their children are being cared for properly or are getting ready for school. In consideration of this, you may want to base part of your sleep schedule on their own waking hours.
Getting children to go to bed when you are ready to go to bed can take more effort. You may have to work on making them tired hours before it’s actually time for them to go to bed, because some children have excess energy throughout the day and night. Households with multiple children deal with this a little less because the children play together and begin to tire out towards the end of all of their activities, especially after school.
When dealing with teenagers, it can be more challenging because after a certain age, they want to stay up later than they would usually and may even do so without your consent. In these situations, you can suggest an ideal hour for them to go to bed. If they do not go to bed during this time, they are likely to be too tired for school or certain activities with their friends anyway, so generally they will be compliant.
The key towards having success with any type of sleeping schedule for your family is to understand how to arrange the sleeping schedule to meet everyone’s needs, despite their differences. Children can participate in a sleeping schedule if you know how to interact with them and arrange their activities creatively so that they tire out in time for the assigned sleeping period, whereas teens and adults are more likely to be willing to join in on a sleeping schedule to prevent further tiredness or errors at school and work.
Benefits of Having a Sleep Schedule
Getting the correct amount of sleep is important for everyone. Without enough rest, it can be difficult to focus on daily responsibilities. Although many people try to just go to sleep whenever they finally begin to feel tired, it’s generally a better choice to consider creating a sleep schedule for yourself instead. Although some people remain hesitant about the idea of having a sleep schedule, it actually offers many benefits.
Some people begin to have issues with insomnia because they do not have a regular sleeping schedule. If you are typically staying up late several times during the week, your body may be uncertain of whether or not it’s actually time for you to go to sleep. By creating a sleep schedule for yourself, you can help to create a solid sleeping pattern for your body and combat against any possibilities of insomnia.
When you haven’t had enough rest, it can be impossible for you to focus on your tasks and responsibilities. Even if you are sleeping on a regular basis, but during unevenly balanced hours, it can cause you to become confused and frustrated later on in the morning when you are not able to focus on your work properly. Having a sleep schedule ensures that you can create a balanced sleeping pattern and get a fulfilling night’s sleep.
Gain More Energy
One of the main reasons that people sleep is because they feel tired. Feeling tired is a result of having lack of energy after completing tasks throughout the day. By sleeping on a regular basis, you can refill your energy and ensure that you are well-rested enough to complete any tasks that you may have planned for the following day.
People commonly don’t realize that when they are not sleeping enough, their body isn’t getting enough rest in order to function properly. This inability to function correctly means that the body is less likely to be able to defend itself against viruses or bacteria which may cause you to get sick. Sleeping on a schedule will help you to provide your body with all of the rest it needs in order to fight against possible illness or conquer any current infections that you may be dealing with.
There are many other benefits that are associated with sleeping on a schedule, though not directly. Many people who have started to sleep on a schedule have realized that it provides them with more energy and time to do other activities such as exercise and keep physically active.
What to Know About Sleep Aides
Individuals who typically have problems sleeping may receive a recommendation from their doctor to consider trying out sleep aides. For anyone who hasn’t used a sleep aide before, this suggestion can prompt some curiosity and concern. However, sleep aides and their usage are a fairly common thing. There are a few elements that people who have never used sleep aides before should consider prior to making their final decision about whether or not they will try these types of products.
Some sleep aides are available only via prescription, while some are available as over-the-counter drugs. There are also natural sleep aides which are created from herbs and various types of plants. Regardless of what type of sleeping aide is being used, individuals should only follow the indications that are provided in the directions. Taking more than the prescribed or suggested dosage can result in other sleeping problems or serious adverse reactions.
Some sleep aides are only meant to be used for a few months, while others can only be used for a short period of weeks. Your ideal goal is to use the sleep aide during the approved amount of time so that your body can become accustomed to a normal sleeping schedule. When your body has gotten used to this sleeping schedule, you will be able to enjoy sleeping without having to use the products anymore.
In most cases, people do not become addicted to the use of sleeping aides. Most of the treatments that are available now do not use ingredients which would encourage an addiction. However, this is not to say that sleeping aides do not provide any unexpected side effects. Individuals are often instructed to keep their doctor updated with any changes they may experience after taking these types of treatments, such as depression or mood swings.
If you have any questions about what you can expect from the use of sleeping aides, you can talk with your doctor. Most sleeping aides are approved for usage by individual of a variety of age ranges, so it may be a plausible option if you are dealing with teenagers or senior parents who suffer from insomnia. Individuals who are not comfortable with the idea of taking prescription sleep aides or believe that they would only need to use their sleep aide occasionally may also want to consider the option of using over-the-counter or natural sleep aides instead of prescription sleep aides. Depending on your needs and your personal circumstances which have caused your inability to sleep, your doctor may suggest various options.
Natural Sleep Aides
Individuals who are having difficulty with sleeping have searched for years for methods that would help them find rest in a more easier and comfortable manner. Although there are many prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs that can be taken to help induce sleep, there are many who would prefer to only take natural sleep aides instead. Treating insomnia naturally is generally viewed as being better for the body; likewise, many people prefer this option because they do not have to fear the issue of becoming addicted to the natural options that they are using to induce sleep.
One natural sleep aide that many people are familiar with the use of is known as melatonin. It is actually a hormone that is usually produced by your brain. Scientists believe that the use of melatonin is beneficial in those who have difficulty sleeping because the hormone helps to reduce the amount of time that is associated with how long it takes people to fall asleep. It also focuses on providing people with that familiar feeling of sleepiness. Unfortunately, its usage has not been regulated and so it isn’t a proven option, nor is it suggested for long term use. Most doctors do agree that it’s suitable for temporary usage, such as a few months.
Another option that is worth considering is the use of valerian. Valerian is an herb which is commonly used for anxiety, though it can also be used for insomnia as well. Like melatonin, it ensures that individuals can fall asleep sooner and helps to mimic that tired feeling that they would usually have. Unlike with melatonin, it’s advised that valerian should be taken on a regular basis because it seems to work better when there is more of a presence of the herb within the body. It should be noted that most doctors will only recommend using valerian for up to a month because after this point, it may cause a headache to occur.
One of the most well-known options that people use to fall asleep is chamomile. Generally, people enjoy this herb in their tea, though it is also available in capsule form as well. It has been used throughout the centuries as a sleep aide, making it very well known, even for fighting against infections.
The best way to use chamomile is to take capsules or enjoy a cup of chamomile tea while using some type of sleep-inducing aromatherapy, such as lavender. When these two options are combined together, individuals can enjoy a long lasting and restful sleep without the worry of dealing with groggy feelings in the morning or any adverse side effects.