A good night’s sleep is simply invaluable. Most of us intuitively understand that being well-rested is vital for everyday function, but we might not fully understand why. Why might the right temperature be necessary to getting quality sleep? Does alcohol do anything to your sleep? Ahead, we break down the answers to the most frequently asked questions about rest and show how you can get higher-quality ZZZ's.
Why Do I Sleep?
There’s no clear-cut biological explanation for why we sleep, but we know that sleep is vital for day-to-day life. Simply put, sleep allows our brains and bodies to recharge. The most prominent scientific theories suggest that we need rest for energy conservation, cellular restoration, brain function, and more. Sleep can also influence things such as glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and athletic performance. Sleep deprivation isn’t good for your body — it’s actually been linked to mood disorders, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
How much sleep you need depends on different factors, but most experts (such as the CDC) recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep for adults. Children and teenagers generally need more rest than grownups. School-age children should get between nine to 12 hours while teenagers should aim for eight to 10 hours. A newborn baby may even need up to 17 hours of sleep a day! Keep in mind sleep quality — if you have a sleeping disorder or frequently wake up in the middle of the night, you may not feel well-rested even if you clock in the right amount of hours.
How Does Alcohol Affect Sleep?
A drink at nighttime might be called a nightcap, but alcohol doesn’t actually help you get high-quality sleep. A few drinks in, alcohol makes you feel drowsy and sedated, thus causing you to fall asleep faster. But it can lead to poor sleep by suppressing Rapid Eye Movement (REM), which is the deepest part of sleep that supports memory and concentration. It can interrupt your circadian rhythm, causing you to wake up frequently. Alcohol also has a diuretic effect that makes you urinate more often — you might be waking up for bathroom trips throughout the night. For most people, one or two drinks shouldn’t impact sleep significantly, though.
Why Do I Wake Up Tired?
Waking up groggy and tired isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. Sleep inertia happens to most people. It’s a natural part of the waking up process during which you may experience some cognitive and sensory-motor impairments after a deep sleep. Your reaction time, memory, and thinking may be slower. Sleep inertia can last anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. Try getting seven to nine hours of sleep every day — morning grogginess can intensify if you're sleep deprived. Need a pick-me-up? Drinking coffee and taking in the morning light can help you adjust to being awake.
Why Do I Sweat When I Sleep?
Night sweating is usually harmless. During sleep, your autonomic nervous system, which controls your body temperature, blood pressure, and more, may crank up and cause you to sweat. More often than not, you might be waking up sweaty due to your room temperature, pajamas, or blankets. Your sleep environment may be too warm for your comfort. Keep your thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit to get quality sleep. Consider using lightweight pajamas and blankets — snuggle up in SHEEX® Original Performance Bedding to stay cool.
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Night sweats may also be related to conditions such as sleep apnea or hot flashes, so consult a healthcare professional if you have any questions.
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