Getting good quality sleep is essential for leading a healthy lifestyle, but 35% of Americans aren’t achieving the 7 recommended hours of sleep every night.
A chronic lack of sleep can cause weight gain, heart issues, and even lower your life expectancy. If you are in the third of the population suffering from sleep issues, here are some tips to get your cycle back on track.
1. Adjustable Bed
First, the key to a great night’s sleep is the right bed. Medium to firm beds are recommended by most professionals, but you may need a different bed for the best quality of sleep possible. If you are in the market for a new mattress, consider purchasing an adjustable bed: adjustable beds allow you to add more support with a frame that lifts and lowers at the touch of a button. If you have back issues, raising the height of your knees will relieve pressure on your spine. If you experience “tech neck,” adjustable beds allow you to straighten out your upper back for a more comfortable night.
With a supportive mattress and an adjustable frame, you’ll have a much easier time of going to sleep quickly and comfortably.
If you want to add a supplement to your vitamins, taking the correct dosage of melatonin before you hit the hay might be right for you. Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces to induce sleep. Your melatonin production is linked to the circadian cycle, which is stimulated by light. However, melatonin can be supplemented with store-bought hormone. In small doses, melatonin is a safe way to stimulate sleep faster, with limited to no side effects. Melatonin can be purchased in several forms like tablets, liquid, or gummies. Take melatonin before your desired bedtime and fall asleep easier.
3. No Tech Hour
One of the main reasons that adults are having more and more trouble falling asleep is blue light. The technology that we carry around today is wonderful, but the specific light emitted by phone and television screens could be hindering your ability to go to sleep. To limit the effect of screens on quality sleep, limit your technology usage an hour before your desired bedtime. Instead, read a book, write in a journal, or do a puzzle. These activities will wind you down for bed without keeping you distracted and awake.
4. Eat Earlier
Eating a big, satisfying dinner may make you feel sleepy, but eating a large meal too close to bedtime might be impacting the overall quality of your sleep. Eating a large, carb-heavy meal right before you climb into bed can cause a blood sugar crash later in the night. Because your body is processing the sugars consumed before bed, your pancreas releases too much insulin for sleeping energy levels, causing a crash and a spike in stress hormones. Obviously, high stress hormones, or cortisol, will reduce the depth of your sleep and lead you to feel groggy, irritable, and tired in the morning.
To fix this, eat your last big meal at least 3 hours before you go to bed; if you do get hungry before you sleep, keep your snacking limited to small, clean foods like fruits, sliced veggies, or a handful of nuts. This will ensure you experience low cortisol levels throughout your sleep cycle.
5. Sleeping Position
Now that your bed is comfy, your phone is out of sight, and you’ve eaten at least 3 hours prior, sleeping should be as easy as pie. However, to get best sleep possible, you can still make adjustments to how your body is positioned during sleep. Sleep positions can affect your breathing, spinal alignment, and overall quality of sleep over time. To ensure you’re getting the best rest possible, try to sleep on your back; research shows that lying on your back keeps your spine in a neutral position, reducing back and neck pain. In addition, if you have the adjustable frame mentioned earlier, applying support to your knees will keep your spine straight and alleviate all pressure from your lower back.
If lying face up is uncomfortable, the next best position is on your side, which reduces pressure on your neck as well as opening up your diaphragm for easier breathing patterns.
Getting great sleep shouldn’t be difficult with these 5 tips. The right bed, supplements, and sleeping position will improve your quality of sleep and make getting to sleep easier. Of course, if your lack of sleep is causing substantial problems, see your doctor for treatment.
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