A very good book by Matthew Walker explains why we sleep and the benefits of sleeping well and long enough (at least 8 hours/day).
From the Conclusions:
Within the space of a mere hundred years, human beings have abandoned their biologically mandated need for adequate sleep—one that evolution spent 3,400,000 years perfecting in service of life-support functions. As a result, the decimation of sleep throughout industrialized nations is having a catastrophic impact on our health, our life expectancy, our safety, our productivity, and the education of our children.
This silent sleep loss epidemic is the greatest public health challenge we face in the twenty-first century in developed nations. If we wish to avoid the suffocating noose of sleep neglect, the premature death it inflicts, and the sickening health it invites, a radical shift in our personal, cultural, professional, and societal appreciation of sleep must occur.
I believe it is time for us to reclaim our right to a full night of sleep, without embarrassment or the damaging stigma of laziness. In doing so, we can be reunited with that most powerful elixir of wellness and vitality, dispensed through every conceivable biological pathway. Then we may remember what it feels like to be truly awake during the day, infused with the very deepest plenitude of being.
Twelve Tips for a Healthy Sleep
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
- Exercise is great, but not too late in the day
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine, before going to sleep
- Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed
- Avoid large meals and beverages late at night
- If possible, avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep
- Don’t take naps after 3pm
- Relax before bed
- Take a hot bath before bed
- Dark bedroom. No TV, tablets, smartphones.
- Have the right sunlight exposure
- Don’t lie in bed awake
Improve your wellbeing and health, read this very good book Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, by Matthew Walker.