Sleep is an essential aspect of achieving optimal health. However, millions of people report having restless nights and inadequate sleep. This is a contributing factor to numerous chronic illnesses.
1.DON'T SABOTAGE YOUR SLEEP:
You may be sabotaging your sleep without knowing it! Think about your current sleep routine.
I’d be willing to bet you’re like most people and that your nighttime routine involves at least one digital device.
2. HAVE THE RIGHT MATTRESS:
Too soft, too hard, or just right?
When buying a new bed, I always think of Goldilocks and her search for just the right feel.
Unfortunately, there is no formula for deciding the size and firmness of your mattress. Ultimately
it comes down to trying different beds and feeling what’s comfortable.
3. IS YOUR DIET A CAUSE:
Diet has a more significant impact on sleep than you may realize. When it comes to a good night’s sleep, it’s not just about WHAT you eat, but WHEN.
Let’s start with the obvious, caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and should be avoided in the latter half of your day. Other sources of caffeine that may surprise you include protein bars, decaf coffee, non-cola sodas, ice cream, yogurt, candy bars, hot chocolate, and flavored water.
Make sure to read package labels to avoid any source of caffeine late in the day.
4. DO YOU HAVE A GOOD BEDTIME ROUTINE:
When it comes to a nighttime routine, there are just as many options as there are individuals. Make it a priority to choose the right kinds of habits at night by understanding what to avoid:
Mistake #1 Not Taking Enough Time To Unwind
There’s no magic switch to flip when you’re ready for bed. Winding down from your day is a process. The processes involved in sleep include brain wave activity, heart rate, breathing, body temperature, and more. None of which slow down instantaneously. This is why it’s crucial to create a nighttime routine to help signal to your body that it’s time to unwind.
Mistake #2 Bringing Electronics to Bed
Not only do electronics emit harmful light that causes sleep disruption, but you also risk
increasing your stress levels too. Scrolling through your Facebook feed or catching up on
Tweets stimulates the brain. This is the opposite of what you want at bedtime.
Mistake #3 Thinking You Can Make Up Sleep On The Weekends
I’m sorry to say, this is impossible. Your body you can’t store up sleep - lost sleep is lost
forever. Think of it as missing a meal. If you miss lunch for three days, you’re not going to have three extra lunches on Saturday to make up for your deficits.
Mistake #4 Worrying About Sleep Too Much:
On nights you can’t seem to drift off, you’re likely to toss and turn thinking, ‘if I sleep now I can still get X amount of sleep.’
Unfortunately, stressing about sleep will inevitably lead to sleeplessness. If you’re not tired, or can’t get to sleep, get out of bed for a few minutes and try reading a book.
5. DITCH THE PRESCRIPTION:
Before calling the doctor for a sleep aid prescription, try a natural supplement instead.
Sleeping pills come with the potential of many harmful side effects, and frequent use can lead to dependency, addiction, and can cause problems with memory and attention. WebMD reports sleeping pills can interfere with normal breathing and can be dangerous in people who have specific chronic lung problems such as asthma, emphysema, or forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).