Adults need 7 or more hours of sleep per night for optimal health and wellbeing. One in three American’s don’t get enough sleep and up to 70 million are affected by a sleep disorder. Getting a good night's sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Poor sleep has been linked to many health problems including weight gain, high blood pressure, poor mental health and a weakened immune system.
Nothing is more frustrating than a night spent tossing and turning. Consider these tips for a deeper, more restful sleep.
Rise and shine at the same time each day. Our bodies are designed by nature to wake with the morning light. Set an alarm to wake at the same time each morning, and attempt to fall asleep at the same time each night. By creating a dependable sleep cycle our natural circadian rhythms are restored. If waking to a blaring clock isn’t your idea of a great way to start your day, consider a sunrise clock. These clocks are designed to simulate gradual sunset in the evening and sunrise in the morning for a more natural experience. After a few weeks you may not even need an alarm and should be sleeping like a baby.
Look to nature. There are many supplements and natural remedies available to the sleep-deprived and weary. The following supplements have been shown to induce relaxation and help with sleep.
- Lavender: a powerful herb with many health benefits, lavender can induce a calming and sedentary effect to improve sleep.
- Magnesium: one of the minerals responsible for taking protein and converting it into the chemicals that help you feel sleepy; it also plays a role in muscle relaxation and nerve function.
- Tryptophan: an essential amino acid needed for a wide variety of metabolic functions that affect mood, cognition and behavior. Tryptophan can be found in human milk, egg yolks, tofu, turkey and salmon.
- Gingko biloba: some studies have shown that this natural herb may help reduce stress, enhance relaxation, and promote sleep.
Don’t consume caffeine later in the day. This may seem like a logical tip, but studies have shown that consuming caffeine within six hours of sleep can significantly worsen sleep quality. Caffeine can stay in the blood for 6-8 hours so it is typically recommended that no caffeinated beverages are consumed after 3:00 p.m. at the latest especially if you are already having difficulty with sleep.
Just taking these three simple tips into consideration, coupled with regular exercise and a healthy diet will have you on your way to sleeping like a baby in no time.
The material provided is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the diagnosis or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. You should always seek medical advice before consuming any new medicines or supplements.