Sleep’s impact on health goes beyond how someone physically feels throughout the day. Getting a good night’s sleep can help the body operate at peak performance and reduce fatigue. Quality sleep can also start the day off right by encouraging healthier choices.
The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, and during this time the quality of sleep plays a crucial role in physical and mental health. By making sleep quality a higher priority, one will wake up feeling refreshed each morning. The following six tips can help improve sleep quality in order to get the most out of the day.
There are many benefits to exercising regularly such as a lower risk of disease and improving heart health. One often-overlooked benefit is exercise’s impact on sleep. Increased exercise helps strengthen the body, including the lungs and heart, which are two high-priority organs during sleep. With higher functioning lungs and a lowered heart rate, it is easier for individuals to sleep at night. Exercise has also been shown to help individuals who experience sleep apnea by reducing the severity and daytime sleepiness, as well as increasing maximum oxygen consumption.
Reduce Blue Light before Bed
As more people reach for their phones before bed, it is becoming a common occurrence to look at a light-emitting screen just before trying to fall asleep. While the screen may not show a blue color, LED lights used in screens are typically known as “blue light” due to their position on the visible spectrum. These lights can interrupt the body’s natural rhythm and trick it into thinking it is still daytime.
Reducing the amount of screen time before bed can help the body naturally fall asleep and stay asleep. Limit blue light intake by setting an alarm to turn off electronics 2 hours before sleep, by dimming the brightness of lamps or phones, and by using amber-colored glasses.
Cut Out Midnight Snacks
While some scientists believe that eating right before bed leads to weight gain, other studies have shown that some snacks may help weight loss and improve sleep quality. It depends on how people snack before bed.
Snacks filled with sugar can hinder the body’s ability to fall asleep. On the flip side, nuts or cheeses contain an amino acid called tryptophan which research trials have shown to have possible benefits when treating sleep disorders. However, moderation is key here as consuming too much food before bed could trigger gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD. If those with GERD eat right before bed, sleeping becomes an uncomfortable experience and may lead to worsened heartburn and indigestion.
Start a Nighttime Routine
Studies show that humans are creatures of habit. Having a strict schedule before bed helps the body know when to produce natural amino acids such as melatonin that can help with falling asleep. Nighttime routines will vary person-to-person and can include a variety of tasks. Simple routines may include skincare and oral care, or slightly more complex routines may include warm baths, reading a book, and stress management techniques.
Since humans are creatures of habit, establishing a routine can also help manage stress. Routines may alleviate stressful thoughts that can run through the mind right before bedtime. Meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises can help mitigate that stress and allow the body to relax before falling asleep.
Stress can increase the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and cause some to wake up frequently during the night. Managing stress can go a long way in improving the quality and quantity of sleep for adults. Getting a better understanding of thyroid health and health overall may also help adults fall asleep faster, with peace of mind.
Understand Your Health
Many factors attribute to someone’s ability to fall asleep. These may include thyroid health, heart health, lung health, and general health. As poor sleeping habits negatively affect major organs like the heart, it’s imperative to understand your health if you struggle to get a good nights’ sleep. Please discuss all sleeping problems with your Family Doctor so they can recommend proper testing so you can understand your body better and plan accordingly.
Submitted by Annmarie Dallao
Source: ARCpoint Labs Franchise Group