Have you ever had one of those mornings when you wake up feeling like you never slept at all? Are those mornings becoming more frequent? The inability to fall asleep or stay asleep can have a serious impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. A lack of sleep has been linked to all sorts of health issues, including diabetes, depression, obesity, and heart disease. Long-term sleep deprivation can even shorten your lifespan!
Getting the proper amount of quality sleep is about more than waking up feeling refreshed. Sleep is needed so that your body can repair itself and recover from the day. Sleep is also when the body regulates several different hormones, including growth hormone, cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin.
If you’re ready to take charge and finally get the sleep you need, there are several tips and tricks to follow. Here are some of the most effective ways to kick snooze blues to the curb so that you can sleep soundly at night.
Set a Schedule & Stick With It
The best strategy to get better sleep is to get in sync with your body's natural sleep/wake cycle. By keeping a regular schedule of when you sleep and when you're awake, you'll feel more energized and refreshed.
To reset your body's internal clock, do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Go to bed at a time when you normally feel tired, otherwise you'll spend time tossing and turning.
Over time, you will naturally wake up without setting an alarm. If you rely on an alarm to get out of bed, it's a good sign that you simply aren't getting enough sleep.
Many think that they can make up for lost sleep at night by napping during the day. But, if you have trouble falling or staying asleep, taking a nap can actually make the problem worse!
If you absolutely must take a nap, make sure that it's no longer than 15-20 minutes. It's also best to nap in the early afternoon. Taking a nap too late in the day could keep you up past your set bedtime.
Minimize Exposure to Light
If you're like most people, you've gotten into the habit of watching TV in bed, or spending hours on your phone scrolling through social media. But the blue light emitted by your TV, phone, computer, or any other smart device may be disrupting your sleep.
Exposure to light at night is problematic because it suppresses the secretion of melatonin, which is the hormone that plays a major role in maintaining your body's sleep/wake cycle. Even low or dim levels of blue light can interfere with your circadian rhythm.
Ideally, when it’s time to go to sleep, your environment should be cool and dark.
Make Smart Food & Drink Choices
What you eat and drink in the evening can also impact your sleep quality and quantity. In the hours before bedtime, there are several things that you'll want to limit or avoid altogether, including:
- Eating big meals
- Drinking alcohol
- Drinks high in caffeine (ie. soda, coffee, etc.)
- Sugary foods
- Refined carbohydrates
But this doesn't mean that you should go to bed hungry or thirsty. There are plenty of great foods that you can eat as a nighttime snack that promote sound sleep. Some options include milk, yogurt, a banana, or even a bowl of low-sugar cereal.
Use a Sleep Supplement
Sleep aids, also known as sleep supplements, are products that are designed to help you fall and stay asleep throughout the night. Sleep aids often contain a variety of ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, herbs, and botanical extracts.
One of the most commonly used ingredients in sleep aids is melatonin, which is a hormone that naturally occurs in the body. Other sleep-promoting ingredients that are often used include lemon balm, chamomile, 5-HTP, GABA, passionflower extract, and lavender.
If you’re in the market for a quality sleep aid, check out our melatonin gummies!
Getting enough sleep at night is about more than having productive tomorrows. When you're consistently behind on sleep, you put your physical and mental health at risk. With these tips and tricks, you can finally get the sleep you need so that you can be and feel your best.