“Sleep is essential. It is not an option. Extreme sleep deprivation is psychological torture. Take the case of Patty Hearst. In 1974, the newspaper heiress was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). They put her in a closet, blind folded her, and prevented her from sleeping. She became so confused and disoriented that she began to identify with her captors and robbed a bank.”
Jann Gumbiner, Ph.D., The Teenage Mind
With the finals week ahead of us and the sleepless nights pouring in, I can’t help but fantasize on how I’m going to enjoy sleep when I finally can. But, sleep is more than a want, of course, it’s a need. Human beings wouldn’t survive without it. Sleep has effect on memory, attention and health, so, it’s important we mind how we sleep. Here are a few interesting tips on how to do it right when we hit the sack.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Basically, it affects our sleep cycles when our brain produces more of it during night time and very little in the morning. Since more light exposure decreases the production of melatonin, we should increase light exposure during the day and minimize it at night.
During daytime, we can spend more time outside in the daylight and letting more sunlight in our homes and/or workspaces. At night, the darker it is, the better we sleep. Turning off televisions and computers and using dim lights will help.
Right is right
Turkish researchers found out that by sleeping on our right side, we influence our dreams. When we sleep like this, we are more likely to dream things leaning to relief, joy, peace and love. Cool, right?
The Circadian Rhythm
Finally, helpguide.org advises to implement a regular sleeping pattern; meaning, going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. This will help people achieve good sleep and gain more energy during the day. To go to bed at the same time every day, the website also points out fighting the desire to sleep after dinner since this can cause us to wake up at a later hour and it can be harder to go back to sleep.
That’s it! It really is important to mind our sleeping habits so that it won’t affect us badly later in life. Hopefully, the finals week will end on a good note so that we really can have a good shut-eye.
How to Sleep Better; Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep. HELPGUIDE.ORG. A Trusted Non-Profit Resource. Accessed on March 21, 2014. From: http://www.helpguide.org/life/sleep_tips.htm.
Why Sleep is Important. (February, 2012). Jann Gumbiner, Ph.D. Psychology Today. Accessed on March 21, 2014. From: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-teenage-mind/201202/why-sleep-is-important.
Scientifically Proven Ways to Have a Happier Morning. (March 2014). Oprah.com. Healthy Living. Yahoo!She. Accessed on March 20, 2014. From: http://ph.she.yahoo.com/blogs/healthy-living/scientifically-proven-ways-happier-morning-162700488.html.
Ina Isabel Lingan