From restoring your body, protecting your health and helping your brain function properly, sleep is essential to living a healthy life.
How Much is Enough Sleep?
Researchers all generally agree that 7 to 9 hours of sleep is optimal for adults. Studies have shown that getting 6 hours of sleep or less can have a negative affect on your health.
Why is sleep important?
Sleep serves many purposes and all are important. But here’s a few of the most important reasons why you should get a good night’s sleep.
- Brain Function
During sleep, our brain actually disposes of toxins and waste products that accumulate over time. This happens because the glymphatic system in our brain removes waste by clearing fluids through pathways in the brain and clearing those fluids through lymphatic vessels in your head.
When you are deprived of sleep your performance, cognition and concentration are all negatively affected. This has a snowball affect. Accumulating over time, mental and physical performance will decrease as you are deprived of sleep.
- Metabolism and Heart Health
When you get less sleep, your body will use energy from sources like carbohydrates and proteins instead of fat. So not only can poor sleep cause you to gain weight but it can also affect muscle loss.
There are plenty of reasons why sleep is crucial in living a healthy life, but how can you sleep better and what are some tools to fall asleep faster?
It’s the daily habits that are a part of your life that can help you sleep better.
Getting enough exercise has countless benefits, one of those being sleep. You will be able to fall asleep easier and sleep better by exercising regularly. Just be sure not to exercise to close to bedtime as the stimulation can make it harder for your body to relax right away.
- Reduce caffeine intake
This may be hard for some, but if you have trouble falling asleep it might be worth it to try drinking less caffeine or at least not drinking any after around noon. Caffeine can make some feel restless at night, so allow it time to wear off.
- Remove distractions from bedroom
Your bedroom should be an environment for good sleep. Most people bedrooms are multi-purpose. They eat, watch TV or their devices, and just hang out there. If your bedroom is used primarily for sleep, you will have less distractions and when you go there your brain will know that it’s time for sleep.
Tools to help you fall asleep
- Find the right temperature
If it is too hot or too cold in you bedroom you may be tossing and turning all night. Most people find that it is easiest to sleep in a cool room, ideally from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you aren’t moving around as much trying to get comfortable or pulling the sheets from your partner all night, you can fall asleep faster. A comfortable sleep temperature can also vary between individuals, so if you need a different temperature setting than your partner there are tools like the ChiliPad to help you achieve your perfect sleep temperature.
- White noise machine
If you find it hard to fall asleep because of noisy neighbors, traffic, dogs, or any other noisy distraction, you might want to look into a white noise machine. This LectroFan White Noise Machine on Amazon has over 6,000 reviews and almost 80% are 5 stars. Machines like these can help tune out unwanted noises around you for a longer and better sleep.
Results vary but most people find a natural remedy such as are listed below to help them fall asleep.
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
This is my personal go-to if I’m having trouble falling asleep. You simply mix 2 tablespoons of ACV with 1 tablespoon of honey into 8 ounces (1 cup) of hot water. This also has many claimed benefits from weight loss to seasonal allergies, but I use it solely for sleep aid.
- Bedtime Tea
You can find bedtime tea just about anywhere. I have tried this Soothing Caramel Bedtime tea by Yogi and its pretty good. The product is described to be “blended with Chamomile Flower, Skullcap and L-Theanine to support relaxation and help calm the body and mind”. I don’t feel sleepy after drinking it, but I find drinking hot tea before bedtime to be soothing and relaxing.
If any of these tips or tools sound like they could benefit you, give them a try. A good nights sleep is crucial to your health, find what works for you and get the sleep that your body deserves.