It is a well known and documented fact that getting enough sleep is of vital importance to our physical and mental well-being. According to the Sleep Foundation, a nutritionally balanced diet, drinking water, staying hydrated, and exercising are all necessary for overall health. Getting enough quality sleep, however, is also an essential component.
Why Sleep Is So Beneficial for Our Health
Many sleep experts agree, adults should consistently get close to eight hours of restful sleep each night to improve their immunity, energy levels, mood, and cognitive functionality.
Here’s how healthy sleep habits can result in better health:
- Enhances energy and athletic performance
- Promotes better cardiac health
- Decreases blood pressure
- Regulates blood sugar
- Improves mood, memory and mental clarity
- Enhances immune system
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Maintains healthier weight and metabolism
Conversely, insufficient sleep decreases production and impacts our abilities to think and function at optimum levels. It also can compromise our immunity, lead to less-than-optimal decision-making, impact our moods (even making us a tad depressed), and can increase anxiety levels. Bottom line, sleep deprivation puts our health and well-being at some risk.
Helpful TIPS for Improving Sleep
Getting a good night’s rest, every night (or day if you work evenings), maintaining healthy sleep habits, and improving “sleep hygiene” has many benefits. Some may require lifestyle changes to feel the signs of improvement, however, we believe worth the effort. The CDC and other health organizations list recommendations for better sleep, but we added a few more.
Here are 10 TIPS to Help improve Sleep:
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule: Having a regular sleep routine is the best approach. Set a specific time to go to bed and wake up at the same time, every night and day, even on weekends. This helps the body to rely upon a consistent internal clock and improve our circadian rhythm, which dictates our sleep-wake cycle.
- Limit naps to 20 minutes: Naps are a wonderful way to re-charge, however, keep them to 20 minutes, and not too late in the afternoon to avoid interrupting normal sleep schedules. Grogginess can also occur from napping too long.
- Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine before bedtime: Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine are all stimulants, which can keep you awake, make you anxious and impact sleep quality. Moreover, going to bed on a full stomach or after eating rich foods can also be disruptive.
- Create a peaceful sleep environment: Your sleep environment should be your sanctuary, and a quiet, preferably dark and peaceful place for you to rest, uninterrupted. Too much light or noise can disrupt your much needed slumber.
- Turn down room temperature: Cooler is better. Lower temperatures can improve sleep quality and duration. If the room is too warm, this can cause us to toss and turn, and sleep restlessly. In this article, according to Dr. Sampat and Dr. Dasgupta, setting the room temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for a deeper, longer slumber. For some of us that is too cool, we admit; just keep it down as low as is comfortable or shivering will keep you awake.
- Exercise daily: Taking a walk, jog or run, going to the gym, a yoga or Pilates class and working out for at least 20- 30 minutes a day will improve your health and sleep. Daily exercise plays an important role in sleep quality. Exposure to sunlight during the day can also improve sleep. Avoid exercising too late or just before bed so your body has time to relax before turning out the lights.
- Mattress & bedding: If we are going to be spending eight hours a night or day with the objective of getting the best sleep, and our health depends on it, then comfort is key. There are so many options, so it makes sense (and cents) to splurge on a mattress that is the right fit for you. The same goes for bedding and pillows. Invest in your rest. Your body will be grateful.
- Tune out - avoid TV screens & electronics before turning in: It is not uncommon to have televisions, computers and electronics in our bedrooms. Ideally, our rest area would be free of these devices, altogether. If not, it is a best practice to set aside all devices and turn off the Telly at least 30 minutes before bedtime to make it easier to fall asleep. Electronics emit a blue light, which disrupts the production of our natural sleep hormone, melatonin. So, power down and tune out to wind down, and get into sleep mode.
- Aroma therapies & essential oils: Aromatherapy diffusers are a favorite for the bedside table, especially when diffusing pure lavender and organic essential oils that aid in relaxation. TRU47 created Sleep Tight Silver Infused Pure Essential Oil a custom blend to soothe senses and provide aromatic support to promote rest.
- Sleep accessories and sleep masks: There are some amazing products to help slip us into slumber, such as white noise machines, relaxing music and meditation apps. Eye masks have become an absolute essential sleep aid to help you to get the best from your beauty rest and get some shut-eye and zen-out, anytime night or day. TRU47 created two Silver & Silk Sleep Masks made with six luxurious layers of Mulberry and Tuscany silk batting inside, creating a wonderful pillowy softness your eyes will crave every night!
Here’s to a good night sleep!