First it gives you a reduced capacity to cope with stress, and this can happen in as little as one night. Chronic lack of sleep also causes low energy, increased weight, a lower immune system, and reduced ability to heal from injury. This occurs because the body does it's repair work during sleep. The Average person needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night but many people average only six hours. Here are some tips to help you get more quality sleep.
* Avoid bright lights in your eyes before bed, Again this might seem simple, but bright light actually does wake you up and give you energy, this is of course great in the morning if you live far from the equator and have seasonal depression or low energy, but within 2 hours of bed, this can keep you awake, this includes less obvious light sources such as E-readers (the kindle & Kindle paperwhite are not back lit, however the kindle fire family are and many others are) computers, tablets, and even television.
* Don't eat too much before bed a very light snack can be ok such as a piece of toast, however a meal too close to bedtime causes the digestive system to get to work and increases blood flow to the digestive system. Since sleep is associated with a drop in core body temperature anything that causes the body to work harder is keeping it from entering power down mode.
* Exercise, but at least 2 or more hours before bed. I personally advise exercising in the morning, but many people enjoy their exercise after work, This is still healthy but too close to bedtime increases core body temp which keeps you awake.
* Skip the warm milk, it contains tryptophan which helps with sleep, but has too many competing amino acids to actually enter the brain in any significant quantity.
*Don't do anything in bed except sleep, You can make an exception for sex, but that is all, no reading, no TV no eating, no homework.
* Avoid caffeine after noon, caffeine takes 13 hours to fully leave the body, limit caffeine to the mornings.
* Alcohol does not "help" you sleep, it's sedating but interferes with normal sleep cycles, preventing you from getting the deep restorative sleep your body needs most.
* Relax before bed and establish a ritual, Such as meditation or journaling, both are great ways to help your brian "shut down" for bedtime.
**** if you sleep for 8 hours and do not feel rested in the morning, or if you cannot fall or stay asleep you should consult your health care provider you may have a sleep disorder that can be treated.
Sleep Is key to good health and Stress management. Make sure you get enough every night and you will quickly be on your way to an amazing life!