Sleep should be a priority, not an option


RIA Novosti

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Many teens struggle with sleep deprivation due to homework assignments and projects, part-time jobs, extracurricular activities or simply spending too much time on the Internet.

Getting enough sleep each day, however, is essential as food for the brain and body. With adequate sleep, the body has time and and energy to regenerate. Healthy sleep habits help teens as well as adults in maximizing the time to recuperate from the day’s stresses.

One tip for increasing the amount of sleep includes reducing caffeine intake. Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that helps college students stay awake during finals or business people with approaching deadlines. Avoiding caffeinated drinks, such as coffee or colas, three to six hours before going to bed can be an effective way of getting more sleep.

Researchers also advise sticking to a regular sleep schedule with a specific bedtime which can help achieve a consistent sleep routine.

Junior Chloe Camello said, “I make sure that I stick to a sleep schedule so that my body can get used to a cycle in which I am able to wake up easily.”

Another trick to getting a good night’s sleep is …

Research also shows that lack of sleep affects people’s moods that can then lead to more lack of sleep. To combat this cycle, sleep experts recommend that people prioritize sleep and focus on healthy sleeping habits. For instance, people can start by getting the eight hours of sleep they need each night, opting for relaxing activities such as reading or taking a warm shower or bath before bed instead of turning on the TV or computer or exercising.

Breathing exercises while lying down can also aid in achieving more sleep. The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise is a stress antidote as it puts practitioners in an immediate relaxed state.

The breathing exercise is as follows:

1. Exhaling completely through the mouth.

2. Closing the mouth and inhaling quietly through the nose to a mental count of four.

3. Holding one’s breath for seven seconds.

4. Exhaling completely through the mouth, counting to eight

5. Inhaling again and repeating the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Not getting enough sleep can cause complications that include difficulties concentrating, listening and staying focused. By making sleep a priority and practicing tips that experts suggest, an adequate amount of sleep is attainable.