Physiologically speaking, sleep starts during the late hours of the afternoon or the first hours of the night. The purpose of sleep is to repair, regulate the immune system, and maintain metabolic balance and the autonomous nervous system.
According to neurologist Luis Alfredo Villa, difficulty in falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, failing to get enough sleep or having a total lack of sleep are indicators that there is a disorder. Symptoms such as fatigue, tiredness, irritability, and somnolence during the day are also signals that something isn’t right. Dr. Villa provides some basic recommendations to achieve good sleep.
- Wake up and go to bed every day at the same time.
- Avoid stimulants in the afternoon. These include coffee, cocoa, and tobacco.
- Stay in bed only for as long as necessary.
- Avoid having a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise regularly in order to be in shape, relax, and release tension.
- Do not abuse naps. 20 minutes at noon is enough.
- Adjust your room for rest. Avoid excessive light and keep a comfortable temperature.
- Eat breakfast like a king, have lunch like a prince, and dine like a pauper. Some foods are better than others when it comes to falling asleep.
- Follow a sleep ritual. Perhaps a warm bath, listening to music, putting on your pajamas.
- Practice sports. In the morning, if possible. If it is at night, try to do it three hours before going to bed.
- Avoid the use of electronic devices before sleeping.
The ideal length of sleep for an adult is between 6 and 8 hours.