Tips for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep
Sleep plays a huge role in overall health and well-being but it is often neglected. In fact, studies show that 1 in 3 adults aren’t getting enough sleep. In today’s world, it is very common to put sleep last on the to-do list. It may not seem like a big deal, but prolonged sleep deficiency has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney failure and diabetes as well as emotional instability. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of sleep deficiency such as, waking up feeling tired or falling asleep while watching tv or riding in the car, try out these tips for a more restful night’s sleep.
*Only use bed for sleeping - Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleeping. That way, when you lay down your body already knows that it’s time to rest, and not to read, watch tv or any other similar activity.
*No blue light - With the growth of technology, comes an increase in the amount of blue light we are exposed to. Unfortunately this blue light comes from many commonly used items such as your phone, computer, tablet and the television. Because exposure to blue light causes changes in our circadian rhythm, research has linked it to an increase in blood sugar levels and a decrease in lepton levels (the hormone that tells us we’re full). Make a point to reduce your exposure to blue light by keeping electronics on night mode and avoiding the use of electronics before bed.
*Mindfulness practices - Make a point to practice mindfulness or a breathing exercise before bed. This will allow you to release any lingering thoughts from the day, and begin to ease your mind and body for sleep. A study by Harvard indicates that adding just 20 minutes of mindfulness meditation per day can help to fight insomnia and improve sleep.
*Essential oils - If you are having trouble relaxing or falling asleep at night, you may benefit from the use of essential oils. The most popular including: lavender, vanilla, rose and jasmine. Use individually or as a blend.
*Don’t eat anything heavy 1 hour or more before sleeping - Sleeping is your bodies time to rest, but it can’t do so if it’s still focused on digesting your meal. If you have to eat before bed, make sure it’s something extremely light such as steamed vegetables.