Sleep is absolutely vital to optimum health. It’s not that not getting enough sleep may wreak havoc on your health; it’s that not getting enough sleep will wreak havoc on your health. Lack of sleep can lead to medical issues like depression or reducing immunity and your body’s ability to fight infection. Once you rule out that your inability to sleep is not due to a medical issue, there are certain things that you can do to help improve your sleep quality.
Cut down on screens
It might surprise you to learn set the blue light that comes out of your screens on your cell phones, tablets and TVs actually restrain the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps you sleep, controlling your body’s sleep/wake cycle. Cutting off the screens about half an hour before you go to bed can help protect your body’s melatonin-producing capabilities, helping you achieve blissful slumber.
Maintain an ideal weight
People who carry around too much weight often have trouble sleeping. Obesity or simply being overweight read to snoring and sleep apnea. Snoring and sleep apnea are two conditions that negatively affect your breathing, making it difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep during the night. By maintaining a healthy weight, you lessen the likelihood of these conditions, increasing your chance of having a good night’s slumber.
Nix the Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant that promotes alertness. Once you drink it, it reaches its peak level in your blood within an hour, and the effects last three to five hours afterwards. Some studies even say that consuming coffee a full 6hours before you go to sleep can result in you losing an hour of sleep time. Try and have your last cup of coffee in the late afternoon at the latest sleep is not affected.
The sleep hormone melatonin is naturally occurring in the body. Many people who have trouble falling asleep take a synthetic form of melatonin in order to activate its effect. Once ingested, the Melatonin does its job by regulating your sleep/wake cycles, allowing you to get adequate sleep. It’s generally recommended that you take 0.3mg to 5mg of melatonin in order to fall asleep. Check with your doctor about your specific dosage.
Set a Schedule
Setting a sleep schedule can be one of the best ways to help yourself fall asleep at night. Once your body gets into the rhythm of a routine, it will automatically reset itself to expect slumber at the end of your list of tasks.
- Be consistent by picking a set bedtime and wake-up time and sticking to those times. You’re trying to get your body’s internal clock to get used to this new schedule.
- Shut off the screens and dim the lights. You want to create a darkened, soothing and cozy space ready for sleeping. A darkened room will signal to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep.
- Create nighttime rituals. This could include brushing your teeth, combing your hair and reading a book. Doing these things in order before your body to become used to them and then used to the sleep that will follow.
Author Bio: Paige Jirsa– I work with Top10.Today, a shopping comparison site, where we strive to help consumers find the best quality and priced products.