Mental Health

6 Surprising Tips For A Sound Sleep

Struggling to get a good night's sleep? Check out these 6 tips that can help you sleep better and wake up energised.

By URLife Team
26 Apr 2023

When was the last time you woke up feeling well-rested? A night of good sleep is essential not only for our physical but our mental well-being too. Sleep allows our bodies to recover and regenerate, helps muscles recover, and improves metabolism after a long day's hustle while regulating hormones that impact various bodily functions.

The circadian rhythm, which regulates our sleep-wake cycle, plays a significant role in hormone regulation. Any disruptions in this cycle can cause imbalances in hormones that impact our metabolism, mood, cognitive function, immunity, and fertility. Here are some ways sleep can be beneficial for us:


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Hormonal balance

Quality sleep helps stabilise hormones, like insulin, cortisol, and leptin. These hormones are regulated by the circadian rhythm. When we don't get enough sleep, the circadian rhythm gets disrupted, which can further lead to hormonal imbalances. Hormonal imbalances can lead to problems like weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and infertility. Lack of sleep can also lead to various metabolic problems, including insulin resistance, decreased glucose tolerance, and dysregulation of appetite hormones. These changes can result in an increased risk of developing metabolic disorders such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. 


Related story: 3 Habits of Getting Better Sleep



Mood and sleep are correlated, so you may notice your mood fluctuating without adequate sleep. Hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin are regulated by the circadian rhythm. Without enough sleep, these hormones can become imbalanced. Lack of sleep can also cause irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and emotional imbalance. According to a 2021 study published in the journal Sleep, researchers found that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a reduction in brain volume, particularly in the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with decision-making, social behaviour, and personality traits. Chronic sleep deprivation has also been linked to an increased risk of developing mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and major depression. In contrast, getting enough restful sleep can improve overall mood and emotional stability. In simpler terms, good sleep equals good mood.


Related Story: Sleep Disorders-Types, Impact and Treatment of Insomnia


Cognitive function

The human brain can be compared to an active machine, but its performance may be adversely affected if it is continuously used without rest or breaks. Sleep helps the brain rest and rejuvenate. It impacts the brain’s cognitive performance as well. Neurotransmitters like acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and dopamine are chemical messengers that transmit signals in the nervous system. These play a critical role in proper brain function. Sleep deprivation can lead to imbalances in these neurotransmitters, resulting in decreased cognitive performance, memory problems, and impaired decision-making abilities. This is because sleep helps consolidate memories, process information, and regulate mood, attention, and motivation. Without adequate sleep, the brain is unable to perform these essential functions, leading to cognitive impairments like decreased attention span, reduced working memory, and slower reaction time. Chronic sleep deprivation has also been linked to long-term cognitive decline and an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.


Related Story: 6 Viral Life Hacks To Help Sleep Better



Sleep is like a superhero for our immune system. When we sleep, our body gets a chance to rest and recharge, which is essential for maintaining a strong immune system. Without enough sleep, our body doesn't have the time it needs to produce the cells and proteins that fight off infection and disease. 

But that's not all. Lack of sleep can also lead to a decrease in the production of cytokines, which are proteins that help our immune system to fight off infections and inflammation. Without enough cytokines, our body becomes more vulnerable to infection, and it can take longer to recover from illnesses. 


A 2018 study published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews found that lack of sleep can lead to an increase in inflammatory markers in the body, which can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. 

What's even more alarming is that chronic sleep deprivation can also lead to an increase in stress hormones like cortisol, which can suppress our immune system. When our immune system is suppressed, it becomes easier for viruses and bacteria to take hold, leading to an increased risk of illness. A weakened immune system is more susceptible to infections and diseases.


Related Story: Foods That Help You Sleep Better



Reproductive hormones like oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and luteinising hormone are regulated by the circadian rhythm. When we don't get enough sleep, it can lead to hormonal imbalances, resulting in infertility, menstrual irregularities, and decreased libido.

So prioritising good sleep hygiene is essential for optimal health and well-being. By getting enough sleep, we can help regulate hormones in our bodies, preventing imbalances that can lead to various health problems.


Related Story: Yoga postures for good sleep


Tips For Better Sleep

Be Consistent

For good sleep, the key factor is consistency. This is because deep inside your brain, there is a master 24-hour clock. This clock expects regularity in your sleep-wake schedule too. So, if you sleep and wake at the same time every day, then the master 24-hour clock, which is also known as circadian rhythm will help you in maintaining a sound sleep schedule.


Set the right temperature

Studies have shown that your body sleeps better when the environmental temperature is dropped by 1 degree Celsius. This is because your body and brain need to drop their core temperature by 1 degree Celsius in order to initiate sleep and stay asleep. You may have noticed that it is generally easier to fall asleep in a cooler environment.


Related Story: How To Calm The Mind And Get A Good Night’s Sleep


Seek darkness

We all have dark-deprived surroundings, which means that modern society tends to be surrounded by artificial light sources. We need darkness specifically in the evening to trigger the release of a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin helps regulate the timing of our sleep. An hour before bed, try to stay away from computer screens, tablets, and phones. Dim down half the lights in your room. It will make you feel sleepy. You can choose to wear an eye mask or use blackout shades.


Walk it out

If you're having difficulty falling asleep or can't fall back asleep after 25 minutes, it's recommended that you get out of bed and engage in a different activity. And the reason for the same is your brain is an incredibly associative device. The brain has learned the association that the bed is this trigger of wakefulness and we have to break that association. By getting out of bed, you can go and do something else. Return to bed only when you feel sleepy again. 


Monitor alcohol and caffeine

Stay away from caffeine after noon as it can disrupt sleeping patterns. Alcohol can similarly affect the quality of sleep, and the best thing to do would be to drink mindfully or avoid it altogether.


Create a wind-down routine

Sleep as a physiological process is much more similar to the descent of a plane. It takes time for your brain to gradually descend into a good sleep. 20 minutes before bed, disengage yourself from your computer and your phone and try to do something that will relax your mind and body. Find out whatever works for you and when you have found it, stick to that routine.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


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