I usually sleep 7-9 hours every night. As a nurse and a midwife student I need to do shift work when I have practises at the hospital. I think that's why getting enough sleep has become such a big thing for me. I need to focus on getting quality sleep so that my body can handle for example working at night. Today we are talking about why sleep is important and all the things that help me to sleep better.

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Why is sleeping so important?

  • Our bodies recover from stress while we are sleeping.
  • Getting enough sleep each night will have benefits to our hormone levels and it promotes our metabolism. → Further on these two will prevent heart and vascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
  • Sleep is important to our immunity system.
  • Not having enough sleep and overweight are connected. Lack of sleep will change hormones that control our feelings of hunger.
  • Lack of sleep also has an effect to our sugar metabolism and it promotes fat storage to our bodies.
  • Sleeping has benefits to our mental health.
  • Sleeping also promotes learning by increasing our capability to remember,concentrate, deduce, and it also increases our alertness and creativity.
  • Getting enough sleep will also increase our social health because when we are well rested we are more capable of negotiating and making compromises.
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Things that help me sleep better:

  • Having a sleeping routine is great. Our bodies love when they know when we need to go to bed and when we need to wake up. I try to go to bed at the same time every night when it is possible.
  • I rarely drink caffeinated drinks. I don't like coffee so I never drink that. Sometimes I drink green tea but not right before going to bed.
  • I like to workout regularly and that has improved my sleep. However, I can't workout right before going to bed because of adrenaline is still keeping me awake. I try to end training at least 1-2 hours before I need to go to bed.
  • I need to eat an evening snack everyday because I usually eat my dinner so early. But, I don't like to eat my snack right before I have to sleep. I usually eat it 1-2 hours before. I also try to avoid sugars before going to bed, but I do eat fruits and berries though.
  • I don't like to watch my phone right before going to bed. Instead of scrolling through social media, I like to read a book.
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Extra tips:

  • I hate feeling cold when I'm sleeping, but I need air to be fresh. That's why I rather keep the room temperature lower and just wear warmer pyjamas/lay under many blankets.
  • I always keep a waterbottle next to my bed. So, if I wake up during night, I don't necessarily have to go and get me water if i'm thirsty.
  • I use many pillows to find a comfortable position in bed. That's what I have learned from the patients from hospital. For example, I like to have one pillow between my knees.
  • I wear comfy clothes to bed. Something I don't feel conscious in, will make me fall asleep faster. → so typically soft and lose clothes
  • Sleeping mask and earplugs are a must when I'm working night at the hospital and sleeping during the day. Actually, sleeping mask is also great when it is summertime and super light outside. (Our bodies produce melatonin, the sleeping hormone, when it is dark)
  • Even though I can't go to bed at the same time when I have shift work, I still try to have a certain routine. By that I mean that I do certain things every time before going to bed. That way my body recognizes that I'm getting myself ready to bed and falling a sleep will be easier.
So, I would advice you to have a sleeping routine and really focus on getting enough quality sleep. Your body and mind will thank you.

Thanks for reading! <3