provided by Ambrosia Collective
written by Sean Torbati
The amount and quality of sleep an individual obtains can make a drastic difference in how they perform in all aspects of their lives. Aside from the negative health side effects of sleep, it can also cause a number of personal issues. Whether it be professional, personal, or social – people with sleep deficiencies are unable to perform at their peak performance levels.
One stunning statistic has found that the US economy loses $411 billion due to sleep deprivation. Furthermore, over 70 million adults suffer from some form of sleeping disorder.
In fact, over half of adults worldwide (51%) don’t get the daily recommended amount of sleep. Lack of sleep can culminate in a number of long-term health side effects including increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke.
Some of the additional downfalls of sleep deprivation include:
- Memory issues
- Mood changes
- Weakened immune system
- Weight gain
- Low sex drive
Sleep helps the body repair and rejuvenate its vital functions and can greatly impact your overall quality of life. The problem is many sleeping problems and disorders are often treated with medications that may have severe negative side effects.
In this piece, we’ll dive into some of the best natural ways you can obtain better sleep in your everyday life.
Maintain a Strict Schedule
People with poor sleeping habits tend to have sporadic sleeping schedules. Going to bed earlier one night, extremely late another night and consistently having differing schedules can greatly limit one’s ability to maintain consistent and restful sleep. Most adults should try to focus on obtaining a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night.
Going to bed at the same time every single day including weekends helps to reinforce a consistent sleep-wake pattern and schedule. If you’re a person that consistently struggles with sleep, try to do something soothing and relaxing in order to calm your mind down. Eventually you should fall into a routine that reinforces your ability to sleep consistently.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Following an unhealthy diet filled with junk food can be detrimental to one’s sleep cycle. On the other hand utilizing a Mediterranean style of diet can improve your sleep quality. Foods such as whole grains, fish, vegetables, fruits and lean protein sources can help improve your sleeping cycle.
Furthermore, foods containing tryptophan can help to naturally release melatonin thereby improving overall sleep quality and lessening the effects of insomnia. Try to stay away from nicotine, caffeine and alcohol prior to bedtime as well. Caffeine can keep you up into the late hours of the night if consumed during the day. Alcohol can assist with sleeping, but can cause sleep disruption problems as the night goes on. It’s best to stay away from Nicotine completely.
There is a strong correlation between exercise habits and proper sleeping patterns. Specifically, moderate and vigorous exercise can increase sleep quality for most adults while simultaneously decreasing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. The timing of your workouts can also impact sleeping.
Exercise helps to release endorphins which can improve sleep quality. Regular exercise also increases body temperature before lowering it, which can help people fall asleep. The John Hopkins research center has found that, “People who engage in 30 or more minutes of moderate aerobic exercise tend to experience improved sleep quality the very same night.”
Don’t Sleep During the Day
Regular nap times can be beneficial for people having insufficient sleep, however, naps shouldn’t be relied upon on a regular basis. If you absolutely are in need of a nap, try to engage in a light power nap less than one hour and avoid napping late in the day. However, if you work nights and experience sleep inconsistencies, naps may help to bridge the gap between sleep deficiencies.
The mind can play tricks on the body often causing individuals to have issues with sleeping. Try to engage in limited disruptions before bedtime to help put your mind at ease. Stay away from television, video games and other overly stimulating distractions that can cause issues with sleeping patterns.
Read a book or do some other activity that puts the mind to rest. Also, try to not focus on professional, personal or social problems that may be on your mind. Simply maintain a level headed mind and keep distractions to a minimum.
Here’s to Your Best Night Sleep Ever!