Having trouble falling asleep? Don’t feel rested after a nights sleep? Check out these five tips for a restful bights sleep.
1. Stress Less
Studies have shown that stress does impact sleep. When stress is triggered, the body releases cortisol, – a hormone that is released into the bloodstream that helps the body through the stressful event. When we are under stress for a long period of time the overexposure to cortisol may result in health issues such as weight gain.
The solution to stress is to find out the cause and deal with the issue. That is often easier said than done. You can also try meditation or yoga, both which are effective in managing stress. Reducing your stress will improve your sleep and improve your overall health.
2. Eat a Lighter Dinner
Large late night meals packed with carbs can impact sleeping. Your digestive system needs to work hard to digest that food, which can cause you to have trouble falling asleep. Eating an earlier dinner (four to five hours before you go to bed) will help your food to be digested before you go to bed. Shifting your diet to eating your largest meal at lunch with a lighter dinner (like a salad) at dinner will not only help you sleep better but will help you burn off those calories during throughout the day.
Limiting your intake of caffeine and alcohol will also help you sleep better. Try drinking herbal teas in the evening, they often have soothing effects and will help with a more restful night.
3. Improving Your Bodies Nutrients
Some sleep issues are a result of a deficiency in vitamins or minerals in your diet. Getting all of your nutrients from your diet can be difficult as we lead busy lives. Insuring that you have adequate levels of key nutrients like magnesium, potassium, amino acids, leptin, and thiamine can help improve your sleep.
Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle in the brain. When you are exposed to light in the morning, melatonin levels decrease. At night, when it is dark, these levels increase, making you sleepy and drowsy. There are nutritional supplements that contain synthetic melatonin that can be useful for occasional cases of insomnia, shift workers or when suffering jet lag. Taking synthetic melatonin is not a long term sleep solution.
4. Turn Off Technology
Probably the easiest thing to do to help us fall asleep is to turn off technology. Ditching you smart phone, tablet, laptop or other device and picking up a good old fashion book can do wonders to get the body ready to sleep. A light read that helps you relax (avoid the crime thrillers) is a great way to relax before falling asleep. This also helps you clear your brain from the hectic day and slow down for a good nights sleep.
Eliminate night lights and avoid falling asleep with the television on. Keeping your room as dark as possible will improve your sleep. Artificial light can disrupt your circadian rhythm as your body may think it’s time to get up.
5. Get a Better Bed
If you’ve tried all of the above and still can’t get a good night’s sleep, it could easily be your mattress. Most people don’t realize that mattresses must be replaced every seven to ten years. Many mattresses are manufactured from synthetic materials and can actually be toxic. Insuring you have a comfortable mattress can help improve your sleep cycle.
The right bed makes a huge difference. If you’re tossing and turning all night or your bed is sagging (in fact, most memory foam beds start to sag within the first TWO years!), then your bed is likely the culprit.
Sleep is very critical to a healthy lifestyle, follow these steps and you will be surprised how much healthier you will feel.