The Complete Guide:

To Better Sleep

Sleep needs vary from person to person, and they change throughout the life cycle. Here is a general list of sleep needs across the ages:

Most adults: 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. 

Newborns: sleep between 16 to 18 hours a day,

Children in preschool: 11 to 12 hours a day.

School-aged children and teens: at least 10 hours of sleep each night.

Some people believe that adults need less sleep as they get older. But there is no evidence to show that older people can get by with less sleep than younger people. As people age, however, they often get less sleep or they tend to spend less time in the deep, restful stage of sleep. Older people are also more easily awakened.

Why sleep is Important?

Sleep is important for good health. 

Poor quality sleep on a regular basis increases the risk of having high blood pressure, heart disease, and other medical conditions. During sleep, your body produces valuable hormones: growth hormone, which fuels growth in children and boosts muscle mass and the repair of cells and tissues in children and adults. 

Also hormone melatonin that increases during sleep helps the immune system fight various infections. This might explain why a good night’s sleep helps keep you from getting sick—and helps you recover when you do get sick.

Sleep also affects your performance. We need sleep to think clearly, react quickly, and create memories. In fact, the pathways in the brain that help us learn and remember are very active when we sleep. Sleep improves your memories, makes you work and perform better. Sleep is also foundational to men and women’s sexual health and wellness. 

Sleep affects your mood. Insufficient sleep can make you irritable and is linked to poor behavior and trouble with relationships, especially among children and teens. People who chronically lack sleep are also more likely to become depressed.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

  1. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day—even on the weekends.
  2. Take in more daylight and limit exposure to artificial light.
  3. Take 30 minutes of daylight after waking up. Avoid blue light at least one hour before bedtime.

Stay Active!

Exercising during the day helps you feel alert and promotes better sleep at night. Strenuous activity at night, however, can make it harder to fall asleep. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes on most days but not later than two to three hours before your bedtime.

Avoid Caffeince, heavy meals, & alcohol before bed

What you eat and when you eat it could be holding you back from a restful night’s sleep. 

Caffeine may impair sleep if consumed six hours prior to bedtime.

Alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep. You also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the sedating effects have worn off.

Take naps

Napping can boost your immunity and make you feel more alert, which increases cognitive performance and productivity. Aim for a 20 to 30-minute nap early to mid-afternoon. Napping later in the day (after 3pm) could interfere with your ability to fall asleep. 

Take a hot bath before bed

The drop in body temperature after the bath may help you feel sleepy, and the bath can help you relax.

Take time to unwind

Practice mindfulness or engage in light stretching before bed as a way to reduce stress or anxiety.

Don’t lie in bed awake

If you find yourself still awake after staying in bed for more than 20 minutes, get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy. The anxiety of not being able to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep. 

Improve your sleep environment

Your bedroom could be preventing you from quality sleep. Make sure it’s a comfortable and clutter-free environment with the appropriate level of darkness to facilitate sleep. 

If none of these succeed in improving sleep, one innovative therapy that may help is hyperbaric oxygen healing therapy.  The enriched oxygen experience in the hyperbaric chamber will improve your sleep quality and make you feel rejuvenated.  Hyperbaric oxygen healing therapy also has many other benefits such as improved circulation and faster healing especially in slow-healing areas like nervous and connective tissue. It also promotes healing because oxygen contributes to the production of ATP, the body’s cellular energy resource, as well as energy for any biological process. Cells produce more energy when they receive more oxygen.

Consuming personalized vitamins and supplements geared towards increasing quality sleep has also a proven therapeutic effect. Supplementing with the right nutrition will improve long term sleep quality with no harmful side effects unlike taking sleeping pills. 

Functional medicine providers like Emagene Life can offer personalized vitamins and supplements to help build the foundation for better quality sleep and hence, better quality of life.  In order to develop one single pill for you and only you, we undertake a thorough 360-degree analysis on you based on parameters such as your DNA, your blood tests, lifestyle and goals. 

Ensure you never have to suffer a poor night’s sleep again with your very own personalized vitamin and supplement pill from Emagene Life, alongside innovative therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen healing therapy.

Functional medicine Malaysia doctor

Author:
Dr. Shirley Koeh
Date:
11 March 2023

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