How to Sleep Better at Night Naturally
Sleep is very important. Most of us get it right without much of a problem, but for some it is a real struggle and may be due to many contributing factors. Even the people who get enough good quality sleep may have a few areas that could be improved. The thing is, most people know that sleep is important, but many people don’t really know exactly why. It’s one of those passive engagements that just sort of happens.
Understanding the true value of sleep is something that even scientists struggle with today. We can start with why you shouldn’t avoid sleep. Firstly, a lack of sleep completely kills your productivity. Your body has had little time it recover and reboot. Secondly, your immune system gradually becomes more and more compromised. That is because many vital immune functions occur during sleep. The list goes on. Essentially, sleep gives your body’s clean up, construction and repair crew the ability to function with a full resource allocation. If you ever thought you don’t use much energy when sleeping, think again. You just happen to use it in completely different ways. Ways that are necessary for you to function as soon as that alarm bell rings. Infections are fought, muscles built and rebuilt, injuries heal, nerves repaired, all while you sleep.
So, you sure do need your sleep, but it may be difficult to get it right. We are constantly bombarded with circumstances that prevent proper sleep. Our environments, our habits and our head space all contribute to a decline in quality and quantity of sleep. Fear not, here are 5 awesome ways to help you sleep.
5 Ways To Help You Sleep
The first thing you will need to do is cut out the lights. It is obviously difficult to fall asleep in a lit environment. No matter how tight you shut your eyes, your eyelids are translucent (allows light through) so the only way is to turn off the light or find a space where excess illumination is not a problem.
Light also results in a decrease production of melatonin. This chemical produced in the skin is necessary for helping you get good quality sleep. It is only produces effectively when the skin is not exposed to light.
Another aspect of your environment to look out for is audible noise. It goes without saying that noise is the enemy of sleep. Constant sound interference tells your body to remain alert and have your sympathetic responses on standby.
Eliminate noise or find ways to block it out such as ear plugs. Having a noise free environment is one of the best ways to help you sleep.
Your Mattress Matters.
Your sleeping surface is also a key determining factor in how well you sleep. It isn’t a question that having the right mattress can make or break your sleep experience.
You must cater to your individual needs when it comes to finding the right mattress. Some people like them soft, other like them firm. Whatever the case may be, the goal is to have a situation where your body’s alignment is optimized. Spinal alignment is essential when sleeping. Remaining in a fixed position with a misaligned spine for upwards of 8 hours a day isn’t ideal. Aside from potential spinal strain, correct alignment is necessary for healthy circulation and breathing. This is a major benefit during sleep and improves the quality and comfort.
Test out your mattress before making a purchase, and also make sure the base offers decent support.
Watch Your Diet.
What you eat throughout the day and especially towards bed time can have a massive effect on your quality and quantity of sleep. Make sure you nourish yourself through the day and don’t end up sleeping while hungry. Your body need nutrients in order to implement all the repair and recovery that will occur while you’re sleeping. Sleeping on an empty stomach will also diminish the time you are able to sleep, forcing you to wake up earlier in order to feed.
In as much as having a good amount of Nutrition in you is important, you also don’t want to eat too much or too soon before sleep. Try to have your last heal at least 2 hours before bed time. This give you time to digest, which takes a lot of energy. Once you have digested and all necessary nutrients have been absorbed, it simply becomes a matter of logging out for the day and letting your body take care of the rest.
Avoid the following foods before or close to bed:
- High sugar foods
- Caffeinated beverages
- Processed snacks.
These foods are known to diminish not just the quality of sleep, but also your state once you’ve woken up.
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Relax Your Mind.
Stress is a major cause of insomnia, this is because it causes the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol decreases the ability for one to relax and also suppresses the activity of parasympathetic hormones like HGH and melatonin.
Modern life is inherently stressful. By fixing certain parts of your day, you can eliminate the prevalence of it. Regular physical exercise is a good way to kick away stress. Not only does it distract your mind from worry, it also promotes the release of feel good endorphins. Engaging in creative activities such as reading or music also helps alleviate stress. Finally, by simply reducing contact with stressful circumstances or environments, you can improve your quality of sleep.
Sleep is so important, it gives use a chance to refresh both mentally and physically. It may even be more important today than ever before due to the fast pace nature of modern life. By recognizing where your sleep is lacking and implementing these simple daily tips, you can sleep your way to a healthier, happier you.