Did you know that being awake for 16 hours straight decreases your performance as much as if your blood alcohol level were 0.05%? That’s more than halfway to the legal drink-driving limit of 0.08%!1
Indeed, one of the most crucial parts of our health and wellness depends on sleep.
Why sleep matters — it’s more than just physical
Sleep is important for your brain functions as it removes cell waste products2 and also allows your neurons to process all the inputs of the day — this is how you learn new information and store memories.
Adults who sleep less than 7 hours each night are more likely to have had health problems, including heart attack, asthma, and depression3. Sleeping just 7 hours can ensure you a healthier body.
It’s also vital for mental wellness. Sleep promotes better concentration and focus, and is linked to reduced anxiety levels4. Seems like it might just be possible to sleep all your stress away!
Quantity or quality? It’s both.
The number of hours you sleep matters, but the quality of sleep that you have is equally important. And lifestyle factors play a role in contributing to possible sleep disruption. Apart from the usual, there are also more unique ways you can ensure you get quality, uninterrupted sleep:
1. Avoid taking alcohol at least 4 hours before bedtime
A common misconception is that alcohol helps you sleep. While it’s true that it might induce drowsiness, it actually negatively interferes5 with your sleep cycle. Those who have a tendency to drink before bed often have trouble falling asleep and end up feeling drowsy the following day.
This can turn into a vicious cycle that consists of needing caffeine to stay awake in the day, and then using alcohol again to counter the effects of the stimulants.
Since alcohol is a sedative, it may also cause your throat muscles to relax, greatly increasing the risk of sleep apnea6 by causing your airway to close more easily.
2. Paint your room blue
It might be good to avoid blue light7 from your screens before you sleep, but did you know that painting your bedroom walls a light shade of blue8 might actually have a calming effect on your brain?
This builds a tranquil atmosphere that evokes relaxation, making it easier for you to fall asleep. Same goes for soft, muted colours like green or beige.
Regardless of the colour you choose, it’s also important that you avoid glossy paint on your walls as they may reflect light from outside your window and disrupt your sleep.
3. Add plants to your bedroom
Houseplants don’t just serve aesthetic purposes — turns out that certain species are great for improving sleep quality.9
Low maintenance plants like the Golden Pothos (also known as the Devil’s Ivy) or the Spider Plant will work their air-purifying magic while you sleep, removing toxins such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from the air. They improve the quality of the air, helping you breathe more naturally in the evening while you sleep.
Other pleasant smelling plants such as Chamomile and Gardenia have been used to induce sleep for a number of years due to their natural sedative-properties, allowing you to fall asleep faster.
A social effort to prioritise personal well-being
With so much importance being placed on sleep today, sleep wellness programmes have even been established in corporations — it has become a part of employee welfare to improve health, performance and productivity in employees. Some tech giants even provide sleeping pods10 in their offices for employees to take naps in the middle of their work day!
There are also sleep challenges online (7-day, 30-day) by health organisations in which you can earn rewards11 like vouchers if you can sleep for seven hours (the universal recommendation) daily. It’s about time to take your sleep just as seriously.
Whether it’s sleep or your finances, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution — it's important to be sufficiently prepared and build good habits so you can benefit in the long run. Speak to a Financial Consultant today to explore how you can do this and reap the best benefits for your future.
This article is for your information only and does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any persons.