Time to read: 3 min

Why too little sleep is a disaster

15 March 2024|Lifestyle

Enough sleep brings an overall sense of rest, more energy, a better metabolism, reduced stress, and lesser cravings for sugar and fat. When you sleep well, you usually feel much better.

In this article, we explain why it's crucial to get good sleep and also provide tips for improving your sleep.

Why we sleep

Throughout the day, we put our bodies through physical and mental stress. During sleep, the body undergoes recovery. Energy sources are replenished, cells and muscles are renewed, information is processed, stress is reduced, and metabolism is improved. Growth hormones are released, stimulating fat burning and inhibiting the production of cortisol, a hormone that breaks down our cells.

Sleep deprivation

Chronic lack of sleep hinders tissue recovery. It also reduces mental resilience, causes stress, mental fatigue, overweight, forgetfulness, irritability, and a bad mood (hello, morning grumpiness). Research also shows that individuals with chronic sleep deprivation take longer to complete tasks, make more mistakes, and perform less effectively.

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How much sleep do you need?

Try to get at least 7.5 to a maximum of 9 hours of sleep per night, totaling 52.5 to 63 hours per week.

Not only the duration of your sleep determines how good you feel during the day, but especially how deep your sleep is. For many people, the most ideal sleep pattern falls between 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM, with the hours between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM being the most 'qualitative' sleep hours. Apps like Sleep Cycle, SleepBot, or SleepTime provide insight into your sleep patterns.

Sleep Tips

  1. Not sleeping optimally? Give these tips a try!
  2. Spend more time outdoors: More daylight benefits your sleep.
  3. Get more exercise: Being active lowers your stress hormones, which improves your sleep.
  4. Keep your bedroom cool and comfortable: Lower the heating (not higher than 19 degrees Celsius) and/or open the window for fresh air.
  5. No light / no sound: Any form of light and sound can affect your sleep quality. Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible. Use blackout curtains and possibly earplugs.
  6. Take a warm shower or bath: This can help you relax before bedtime.
  7. Hydration: Avoid drinking too much before bed to prevent nighttime bathroom visits.
  8. Caffeine: Limit your caffeine intake during the day and avoid drinking caffeine after 4:00 PM.
  9. Alcohol: Alcohol has many negative effects on sleep quality. It makes you sleep less deeply, negatively impacting information processing, and your brain has difficulty clearing waste due to alcohol intake.
  10. Food: Late-night snacking can also affect your sleep quality. Experiment and see what works best for you.
  11. Magnesium: Taking a magnesium tablet (150-300 mg bisglycinate) after your last meal can help you relax before bedtime.

Avoid bright and blue light: Bright lights and the blue light from TVs, phones, and computer screens keep your brain unnecessarily active. Dim the lights and turn off all screens at least 1 hour before bedtime.

Good sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle, and a regular and good sleep pattern helps you achieve your goals. Sleep is everything!

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