We all have the same 24 hours, but due to workload and duties, we are forced to spend these differently, sometimes offering our precious sleep time as a sacrifice. Sleep deprivation has serious effects, such as the weakening of immunity, worsening of mood and information retention, and risk of heart disease.
Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Given today’s technology and demands, this is easier said than done. So how do we get better sleep? One way is to change the way we wake up.
Why We Need Sunlight
People who work early in the morning, such as those in train stations, call centers and professional window cleaning firms or services, will agree. Sunlight can, and does, help. Exposure to the right amount of sunlight (not too much to give you sunburn) has positive side-effects.
Your brain releases serotonin, a hormone that is said to boost a person’s mood and help them feel relaxed and focused. In the same breath, going to bed early and turning off your lights and gadgets before bedtime helps your brain release melatonin, which is said to help you sleep.
Another benefit of sunlight is that it helps your bones. Sunlight produces Vitamin D in your skin, strengthening bones in the process and lessening the risk of osteoporosis as you grow older. Vitamins also boost your immune system.
The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation
You should especially keep this advice in mind when you start to notice signs of sleep deprivation. These include excessive yawning, irritability, sleepiness at odd moments, loss of focus and concentration, and poor memory retention.
Lack of sleep compromises your natural immune system and makes you more vulnerable to colds and flu, which can worsen to serious illnesses if it often occurs or is left untreated for long. Get in the habit of a regular sleeping schedule by going to bed early enough to wake up just before sunrise.
This will affect your physical health in the long run, while preventing you from falling into depression. Yes, sleep does affect depression. If you have an existing mental condition, this is especially crucial. Invest in a digital or manual alarm clock. Don’t rely on your mobile phone to wake you up.
Keep gadgets and chargers away from your bed. Make it a personal rule that as soon as you’re in bed, the lights are off, including those from any gadget. Then go to sleep. Sleep for eight hours every night and wake up early every day. Soon, you will notice a clear boost in your mood and productivity.
The Right Time
Try to wake up just as the sun rises for optimal effect. This is the best time for the brain to absorb serotonin. It pumps you up for the rest of the day and calms you down as you watch its tranquil, golden beauty. Absorb all that Vitamin D.
It is advisable to take a short walk before heading to work, or to just bask under the relaxing golden light for a few minutes before officially starting the day.