Despite the many scientific advances in the field of medicine over the last few decades, many of us neglect one of the most important contributors to our wellbeing: sleep. It’s a bit ironic. We now know more than ever before about the effect of lifestyle on health, but, on average, we’re sleeping less.
The results of missing out on a good night’s sleep can undermine your efforts with nutrition and fitness. Your body needs sleep to regenerate and experience the benefits of your work towards better health. But many people experiencing sleep problems, or looking to improve health and energy levels, struggle to improve their quality of sleep. This often leads them to pharmaceutical solutions that can create more problems than they solve. A more natural approach improves the quality of your sleep without the potential for dangerous side effects.
It may seem simple on the surface, but sleeping is a complex process necessary for many functions, including.
Because so much happens while we sleep, the results of not getting enough can be far-reaching. We don’t just feel tired, we are also at a higher risk of:
Regular and predictable are the keys to a good sleep routine. It might take some experimenting to find what works for you, but many people find reading, taking a warm bath, doing some restorative yoga or meditation relaxes them.
Try to build in a routine to separate your sleep time from the stress and activity of your day. Some people find it helps to limit their bedroom to only for sleeping.
Your diet can impact your sleep in several ways. For optimum sleep, eliminate the things that inhibit a good night’s sleep and focus on those that relax and balance your body and mind.
The blue light emitted from electronic devices can trick your body into thinking it’s day time. As a result, it slows melatonin production, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. Try to avoid computer and device screens in the three hours before bedtime. If you must be in front of a screen, look into blue-light blocking glasses. Many people keep their phone beside their bed, but try to put yours in another room at night. (If you use it as an alarm clock, buy a digital or standard alarm clock. You’ll be surprised at the difference this makes!)
It’s important to work with your body’s natural rhythms. A cool, dark environment signals that it’s night time, and therefore your body will release more melatonin. In fact, one study found that room temperature is one of the most important factors in the quality of sleep.
A regular exercise routine can help you fall asleep, but avoid intense activities at least two hours before bed. Researchers have seen positive effects on sleep from regular exercise such as yoga, strength training, and steady state cardio.
Don’t let poor sleep undermine your quest for a healthy lifestyle. Take the first step today towards better rest, more energy and a greater sense of wellbeing. If you need further help, feel free to send us a message.
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