Sleep is a big deal when it comes time to allowing our bodies to heal and restore themselves. Depending on your age, sex, and health, you should be averaging between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
As most of us know, when we don’t get a restful night sleep, or are constantly struggling to get the sleep we need, we can feel tired, sluggish, not as mentally alert, and just overall not that great. I know I do! Did you also know that not getting adequate sleep can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues?
If you are having trouble falling asleep at night or getting a full nights sleep, don’t panic; there are tips to help you fall asleep faster and sleep soundly throughout the night.
Tips For A Better Nights Sleep
Turn Off Your Screens 1 Hour Before Bed!
Completely remove electronics such as TV’s, smart phones, and computers from your bedroom. Believe it or not, the light given off by these devices actually suppresses melatonin production and can interfere with a restful night sleep. Give yourself time to read a book, meditate, and just unwind. It’s good to unplug!
Caffeine can be very stimulating and actually prevent you from falling asleep. If you are like me, you enjoy a good cup of coffee or green tea in the morning. However, try and avoid caffeine later in the day. Instead opt for caffeine free alternatives such as water, chamomile, peppermint, lavender, or any caffeine free tea. There are a plethora of healthy options, so start exploring.
Use a Sleep Mask
If your room isn’t completely dark it can sometimes be hard to fully fall asleep. Light pollution can negatively impact your ability to sleep. Try using a sleep mask to help stimulate darkness and natural melatonin production. I prefer contoured sleep masks which don’t put direct pressure on the eyeballs, and are much more comfortable. Melatonin plays a vital role in our natural internal clock cycle, also known as our circadian rhythm.
Cut Back On the Alcohol
While alcohol is a known depressant you may be surprised to learn that it can actually wake you back up in the night. The acetaldehyde that is produced when we metabolize alcohol is actually a stimulant and can wake you from your slumber hours later. So either avoid alcohol all together (the best choice!) or try to have it earlier in the day
We all know that exercise can improve our health and well-being in so many ways. Exercise also helps us to sleep better at night. Aim to exercise for 30 mins, five times a week. Not only will your waist line, heart, and mind thank you, you’ll wake up feeling more rested as well. Try to avoid vigorous exercise right before bed as it can amp you up. There is also calming yoga and stretching activities you can do before bed as well. Ultimately, do what works for you.
We’ve all seen the commercials and are well aware why we shouldn’t smoke. From cancer to wrinkles, nicotine is downright awful for our bodies. It is also a stimulant and can keep you awake at night. So if you didn’t already have enough reasons to quit, that is one more.