Tossing and turning throughout the night, waking up in the middle of the night, and waking up the next day still feeling groggy and tired are common characteristics of sleep for millions of Americans. Sleeping better is a goal that many people try to achieve every night. Whether it be with the aid of a sleeping pill or with taking other medicines that have properties to produce drowsiness, it is done everyday and night.
The problem of sleep has become so prevalent that the Centers for Disease Control has recently called difficulties with sleep a “public health epidemic”.
There are ways to conquer this pestering problem without medicinal aids such as pills and syrups. Knowing the importance of sleeping better is the FIRST hack of getting more z’s.
Consequences of Bad Sleep Habits.
Sleeping better is not only beneficial to your immune system but for your mental and emotional.
A lack of a healthy night of rest can result in:
- Difficulty concentrating
- A weaker immune system
- Higher stress
- Increased risk for chronic diseases and conditions
- Such as cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, and obesity.
- A higher risk of an car accident occurring, more specifically highway crashes.
- According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, 100,000 crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,500 deaths occur because of drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
The first hack was revealed to be just understanding that sleeping better is greatly significant for a healthy lifestyle. The next 9 are simple actions and behaviors to help improve your snooze quality.
2. Don’t cheat yourself with time! Set your alarm clock and a time to head to bed to a certain time and maintain it. The body has to be trained constantly to get it used to a certain habit. Designating a wake up time and sticking to it is key.
3. Take a nice warm bubble bath. Creating a relaxing atmosphere before bed not only feels good, but it helps the body wind down and prepare for the calm state of sleep.
4. Ignore your iPhone! For your brain, light is the cue to be active; so eliminate all devices including the laptop and TV. These too can emit light to hinder your sleep.
5. Cooler temperatures create cozier sleep! Your room should be between 60-67 degrees. Having the body at this temp automatically makes you function at a calmer rate.
6. Make pasta! For dinner, create a whole wheat pasta full of fresh vegetables, a little chicken, tomato sauce, and a sprinkle of Parmesan. It has a great combo of protein and tryptophan. The tryptophan converts to serotonin, the hormone that promotes sleep, to give and extra boost into sleeping better.
7. Yoga! Doing a pose or too such as the Reclined Butterfly to mellow out your thought processes and breathing rate. Relaxation is the ticket to a high quality sleep session.
8. Cut the caffeine! We all know caffeine is a stimulate that gives energy; so why give your body another reason to stay awake? Make is a rule to yourself for no caffeine after 4 p.m. This includes tea and sodas that contain it as well.
Successfully sleeping better can be achieved with the right tools and motivation. Sacrificing a couple sleep inhibiting habits will put you on the track to the z’s you deserve!