How to Sleep Better
Have you ever lain wide awake at night, mind racing, wishing you could just fall asleep already? Then you know the trouble an occasional restless night can cause. Losing sleep on the regular, however, is an entirely different beast. Too little sleep can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Increased stressed, metabolic slow down, a suppressed immune system, and a variety of more serious health conditions have all been associated with not clocking enough ZZZ’s at night.
Here are six tips to help you sleep better at night:
Set the Stage
Your bedroom should be a relaxing haven. The most important elements in the bedroom are a good mattress, comfortable bedding and pillows, and room darkening window treatments. Fill the air with sleep-promoting essential oils (e.g., lavender, valerian or Roman chamomile) using a diffuser with auto shutoff. Another option is to rub a little diluted (never apply full-strength essential oils to the skin) between your toes before falling asleep. Bedroom temperature should also be cool; ideally between 60 and 67˚F.
Create a Digital Curfew
It may be tempting to check your social media feed before bed, but the blue lightemanating from smartphones and other devices can disrupt your circadian rhythm and interfere with the secretion of melatonin more than any other type of artificial lighting. Create a digital curfew one to two hours before bed. Activate your phone’s “do not disturb” option to silence all notifications, alerts, and calls. You can either turn this on/off manually or set a schedule in your device settings.
Avoid Caffeine Before Bed
Caffeine and other stimulants should be avoided two to three hours before bed. Because caffeine’s effects may vary from one person to the next, it’s important to listen to your body and limit your consumption of coffee, tea, or other stimulants accordingly. Drinking caffeine free herbal tea should be okay. Some herbal teas, like chamomile, may even have a calming effect which will help promote sleep.
Take a Magnesium Supplement
It is estimated that 48 percent of the U.S. population doesn’t get enough magnesium in their diets. Reasons for this include the widespread availability of overly processed foods, an inadequate dietary intake, and a lack of minerals due to soil depletion. Some chronic diseases and medications can also contribute to a magnesium deficiency. Low magnesium levels cause fatigue, nausea, lethargy, irritability, and an inability to sleep. Taking a magnesium supplement is key to restoring your mind and body.
Establish a Regular Sleep Schedule
Keep regular sleep and wake times – even on the weekend. The more consistent your sleep schedule, the better the quantity and quality of your sleep, which is vital for optimal wellbeing. A recent study showed that maintaining a regular sleep schedule can be especially beneficial for the heart. Equally, you’ll want to commit to meeting the minimum recommended sleep range for your age group. For example, the National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours for people age 18 to 64.
Fit Some Form of Exercise into Your Daily Routine
Exercise is as necessary for health and happiness as sleep. The American Heart Association recommends 2 1/2 hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, along with strength training two days a week, minimum. Aerobic exercise, resistance training, and yoga are all ideal. Reap even more benefits from taking your fitness routine outside. Research indicates that spending time in nature can have a positive effect on your mood, quality of sleep, and overall health.
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