We know that not getting adequate sleep means we do a disservice to our brain and our physical and metabolic health. Unfortunately, trying to fall asleep can be a tricky, especially when we try too hard. Here are five secrets to a good night’s rest from the University of Sydney's associate professor of sleep and wellbeing, Chin Moi Chow.
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iOS/Android: We sleep in cycles, and you can feel completely groggy or fully rested depending on where you are in the cycle when you wake up. Smart Alarm Clock tracks your sleep cycles and wakes you up at just the right time.
We often discuss the importance of taking breaks to be more productive, but the folks at PayScale have put together a great explanation for exactly why you shouldn't work more than 90 minutes at a time. It all has to do with our basic rest activity cycle.
Our spines secretly hate us. Approximately three million Australians suffer from some form of back pain. That number is expected to greatly increase over the next few years, thanks to a combination of the desk-bound life and our generally inactive society. Night should seemingly bring relief, but the discomfort doesn't lessen when we lie down.
It's a common misconception that the only way to sleep is to stay in bed for seven to eight straight hours until you're done. If you have trouble staying asleep for that long, try sleeping twice at night.
Rest between sets and exercises has as large an impact on your fitness as the number of sets and reps do. If your breaks are too short, you rob yourself of their benefits, or worse, increase your risk for injury. If they're too long, you're not exercising hard enough. The sweet spot is based on why you work out, and the exercises you do.
Modern life is all about innovating our way out of our inabilities. We're not meant to fly, or live 20 stories in the air, or speak to a friend in New Zealand. And (buzzkill alert) we're not meant to be awake when the sun don't shine. Of all that we can now do, the latter may be the most universal. If we've mastered anything, it's light. For the large part, this is good news; extra hours in the "day" mean we can socialise longer and get more work done.
Infants, children and teens all need more sleep than the average adult. For years, we've heard varying but similar ranges from different sources, but now a recent consensus statement by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has helped put this debate to bed.
Workout days in your exercise program are simple to follow: you just do the workout. Then, on your "rest days", you feel like a lost duckling. Do you run on the treadmill? Or maybe do lighter weights? A bike ride on a unicycle up a mountain sounds nice. How about this: try actually letting your body rest.
Most of us are probably pretty bad at sleep to begin with. At the least, do yourself a favour and start a "shutdown ritual" so your brain knows it's time to relax.