Updated: Aug 3, 2020
A lot of us don’t get nearly enough sleep each night from a busy life, stress, and everything in between. Research has shown that getting enough sleep, 7-9 hours each night, can have many benefits to our health and wellbeing.
Getting enough sleep may…
Maintain a healthy weight
Sleep deprivation can affect hormones that control hunger and appetite. Research shows that poor sleep quality raises obesity and chronic disease risk.
Strengthen the immune system
When you are asleep a protein called Cytokines is produced. They target infections and inflammations.
Studies show that only one night of poor sleep is enough to increase cortisol levels (stress hormone) up to 45%.
Sleep is necessary for memory retention. Your ability to concentrate, learn, and problem solve can all be improved by getting a good night's rest.
It can be difficult to fall asleep from the million thoughts that want to run through our heads once we land on the pillow. Below are four things that you can do to help you fall asleep faster and keep you asleep longer.
Create white noise
This blocks out absolute silence and any background noise. My white noise has become my fan.
Focus on your breathing. When your mind wanders bring it back to your breath. This can help you calm down and relax.
A diffuser can run for hours to have you smell the different scents you put in for longer. You can also spray a scent on your pillow before you sleep. Choose a scent that relaxes you. My favorite is lavender but you can also try bergamot or valerian.
Cooldown your bedroom
I can NOT sleep in a hot room, especially since I love a lot of heavy blankets to sleep with. Doctors have found that keeping your room between 60-67 degrees each night can help you reach optimal sleep. Our body temperatures fluctuate each night but when they cool down faster it can help us get into a deeper sleep.
Turn off your electronics
Harvard Medical School did a study that showed the blue light that emits from a screen decreases the amount of melatonin (sleep-wake cycle hormone) released more than any other light.
Keep pets and kids out of the bed
I do not follow this one because there is no way I can tell my adorable goldens that they can’t be next to me. Because of this, my sleep cycle has taken a beating. I’ve woken up many nights to my dog kicking me because he was running in his dream. Pets and kids affect your REM cycle. I wish I knew this earlier so I could train them to sleep on the floor.
The National Sleep Foundation found that as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise like walking or biking can significantly improve your quality of sleep.
Sleeping is usually everyone’s favorite thing to do, especially after a long day. Rest and recharging our bodies is so beneficial and shouldn’t be ignored. Some people can go off of only 5 or so hours of sleep but there will most likely be consequences for that later on in life. So rest up! Be selfish about your health!
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