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Insomnia is no fun, and it can have a negative impact on how you live. While many people turn to prescription medication for relief, there are several terrific methods for improving sleep quality in a healthy, natural way. Here are some suggestions to help you get better shuteye so you can feel great and be your best every day.
Sleeping can seem like a drain on your schedule. The idea of spending a third of your life doing “nothing” might not seem important, but there are actually several crucial health benefits you receive from getting enough sleep. It’s good for your cardiovascular health, helps you maintain a healthy weight, boosts your immune system, and can keep your mind sharp. Going with too little sleep not only cuts all those potential benefits, but it can also leave you at higher risk for automobile accidents, lower your pain threshold, and can make you cranky.
Boosting your fitness regimen can be a boon to your slumber in a number of key ways. As the Sleep Doctor explains, exercise is thought to enhance the quality and quantity of your nightly slumber. It can encourage your body toward a more lengthy, deep, and restorative sleep, and also help you fall asleep more quickly, especially if you exercise early in the day. In fact, the link between sleep and exercise is so strong that you can gauge your workout progress by the improvement in your slumber. Be forewarned, some studies indicate it takes some time for your exercise program to help with your sleeping patterns, but if you don’t get sufficient sleep, your workout is almost immediately adversely affected, and the impact is substantial. A busy schedule doesn’t have to get in the way of you getting in a workout. You can find some spare space in your home and set up a gym with equipment such as a weight bench, stationary bike, and rowing machine.
What is your bedroom like? Does it double as your home gym, office area, and rec room? Unfortunately, your multi-functional space could be keeping you up at night. NBC News points that out just using your electronic devices right before bed can inhibit your ability to sleep since the blue lights they emit can make you feel more alert. Not only that, the feelings triggered by watching the nightly news, answering emails, or surfing social media can cause restlessness. Eliminate those gadgets from your pre-bed rituals and aim for a room that promotes relaxation. Health Status suggests a bedroom which is cool, dark, and comfortable, and if you tend to check the time when you’re lying awake, turn the clock so you can’t see it. Staring at the clock or thinking about how much sleep time you’re missing can aggravate the situation.
Adding aromatherapy can also help you relax and improve your sleep quality, so consider using some lavender essential oil in a diffuser, a spritz on your pillowcase, or a sachet on your nightstand. Another thing to consider is the air quality in your home, which can have an effect on how well you sleep. Make sure to regularly change your HVAC system’s air filters. There are even filter subscriptions available; just order and select the date you want to have your new filters delivered.
Exposure to sunlight can be a big benefit when it comes to sleeping, especially if you can get outside early in the day. The sun increases your melatonin production, helping your body to synchronize with circadian patterns naturally. You can also improve your body’s production of vitamin D from sun exposure; low levels of vitamin D are associated with insomnia. If your trouble is staying asleep, try getting outside and into the sunshine later in the day. Very well Mind points out that light therapy lamps can also help people suffering from insomnia.
An evening ritual before turning in can help your body and mind know it’s time to unwind for sleep. It can be simple, such as taking a warm bath and brushing your teeth or spending some time to practice meditation to help you relax. Some people enjoy journaling, which is a chance to process your experiences and emotions from the day. The important thing is to get on a schedule and perform your routine at the same time each night.
Getting enough sleep is important to your well-being. Thankfully, there are some wonderful, natural methods for improving your slumber. Some simple lifestyle adjustments can mean no more tossing and turning, and instead, feeling and performing better than ever.
About the Writer
Along with being a writer for HealthWellWise.com, Dylan Foster is an office assistant and finds time to either do DIY projects at home or spend time hiking with his dog.