Sleeping 7 to 9 hours every night is ideal for achieving maximum health.
Insomnia has been linked to many health problems, including obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. In addition, it can lead to cognitive impairment and memory loss because the brain needs copious sleep to function correctly. Sleep deprivation can also cause premature skin aging and kill your sex drive... speaking of driving, it is also a prime contributor to accidents on the road.
If you're always tired, you'll become irritable. Getting a good night's sleep will save you time and money in the long run by increasing your productivity. It also improves the quality of your life by making you feel better and happier.
Here are seven ways to improve the quality of your sleep
1. Shut down electronics
Electronics that emit blue light, such as many phones, tablets, and computers, can disrupt our sleep by tricking our brains into thinking it is daytime. This effect is due to the suppression of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle.
To wind down before bed, shut off all electronics at least 30 minutes beforehand. Instead, read an inspiring self-help book, take a bath, meditate, or do light stretches.
2. Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Alcohol consumption reduces the body's natural production of melatonin, leading to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. Also, as the sedative effect wears off, it can prevent you from getting into rapid eye movement (REM), vital to a good night's sleep.
Caffeine is quickly absorbed by the body and sent to the bloodstream. It reaches the brain and blocks the effect of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that makes you tired. Caffeine also stimulates stress hormones, making it difficult to fall asleep. Sleep experts recommend avoiding caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime.
Instead, consume relaxing herbal teas such as
"Sleepytime" by Celestial Seasoning Herb Teas
"Well Rested" by Trader Joe
3. Keep the bedroom dark
The amount of light and darkness we are exposed to affects our sleep and wake patterns. According to nature, we should wake up when the sun rises and go to bed at sundown—the sun's rays cause our body's melatonin level to drop, which increases wakefulness. In contrast, darkness causes our melatonin levels to rise, which induces sleep.
Even the slightest ray of natural or artificial light can interfere with melatonin secretion, leading to fatigue, irritability, anxiety, hormonal imbalances, and poor concentration.
To help your internal clock realign with the sun's schedule, block out artificial light by protecting your eyes with an eye mask or dark soft cloth.
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4. Invest in comfortable bedding
Choose natural bedding fabrics that absorb excess moisture to keep you more comfortable, like cotton, wool, silk, bamboo, and linen. Avoid polyesters and synthetic satins that trap moisture and will make you hot and sweaty. Seasonally appropriate bedding is essential if you reside in a location with changing weather. Duvets or comforters paired with your sheet sets offer extra cozy comfort and warmth. Lastly, invest in a comfortable mattress that is neither too hard nor too soft, and to reduce allergies, use allergen-proof mattresses and pillow covers.
It is essential to avoid emotional conversations and resolve concerns before bedtime. Get organized, set priorities, and delegate tasks. Plan the next day, the night before, to avoid staying up all night thinking about tomorrow's to-do list. This will help to free your mind from obsessing all night.
It is beneficial to be silent since it allows for the growth of new neurons and creates a positive state of relaxation. However, silence can be difficult for some people since they are used to being constantly active and busy.
However, when you enter the "silence zone," you realize it is a relaxing and rejuvenating source.
6. Munch on nutritious snacks
Although many believe eating at night causes weight gain, this is untrue. In fact, it can help you sleep better and keep your metabolism burning fat.
Here are some nutritious nighttime snack ideas
Greek yogurt with honey and sliced banana
Low-carb protein shake
Exercise is one of the most effective cures for insomnia. Being active during the day helps your body know when to shut down at night. Exercise also reduces stress and anxiety.
A recent study in Preventative Medicine has found that strength training improves sleep quality. Compared to lighter exercises, strength training causes a more powerful surge of adenosine, which causes drowsiness.
Warning: The study also shows that those who performed high-intensity exercise less than one hour before going to bed took more time falling asleep and had poorer sleep quality.
8. Sleeping with back pain
If you are experiencing back pain, switching positions throughout the night can be helpful. Sleeping on your back and placing a small pillow or a rolled-up towel under your lower back puts the least pressure on your spine. Also, place a pillow under your knees for additional support. Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees helps to keep your spine aligned. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, as this position can put extra strain on your back.
9. Overcoming jetlag
Jetlag is a temporary condition that can affect anyone who travels across several time zones. This is because your body has its own internal clock, called circadian rhythms, which signals to your body when to stay awake and sleep.
You can do a few additional things to help combat jet lag. Get as much sleep as possible before the flight and take plenty of naps. Drink fluids in abundance to keep yourself hydrated. When you arrive, immediately adjust your sleep schedule to the new time zone. Try to expose yourself to natural light during the day. Avoid heavy meals, and eat light, healthy snacks to keep your energy up. Get up and move around whenever possible to keep yourself energized. Finally, take a natural supplement such as melatonin at bedtime to help you sleep.
Sleep is critical for our overall health and well-being. Sleeping adequately every night will help improve your mood, physical and mental performance, energy levels, and concentration. Additionally, when you get enough sleep, your immune system is more robust, and you can better fight illnesses. Establish a healthy sleep schedule, the best practices listed above, and keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet to ensure you get the best sleep possible.
Sunset evokes thanks. Dawn gives rise to hope.
The darkness of long, restful nights stirs faith.
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Batista Gremaud is the CEO and president of Dr Fitness International, an International Body Designer, Strength Training Expert, No1 Best Selling author of Feminine Body Design, Empowering Fitness For A Pain-Free Life, co-creator of the Feminine Body Design online strength training mentoring system, co-host of the Esoteric Principles of Bodybuilding, Recipient of the most outstanding fitness program 2019 by The Winners Circle, Mastermind at Sea. and producer of Dr Fitness USA’s THE SHOW.
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