Sleep is about the most important part of your day and one thing you definitely shouldn’t skimp on. Not only does sleep help you look and feel better in the morning, not sleeping can cause long-term health issues. Qunomedical explains that long-term sleep deprivation can cause everything from depression, low libido and anxiety to high blood pressure and diabetes.
Set yourself up for sleep success
If you’re one of the millions of Americans with insomnia or other sleep disorders, getting enough Zzz’s is easier said than done. But there are a few ways you can set yourself up for sleep success. Start by getting into a routine. It may be a good idea to give yourself reminders to go to bed at a decent hour. You should also get into the habit of ditching the devices in the 60 minutes before turn down.
Develop positive habits
In addition to creating a bedtime routine, people who tend to get the best sleep have a few daytime traits in common. Specifically, those who exercise sleep better than those who don’t. You don’t have to run a marathon after work in order to reap the benefits of activity. Simply getting off the couch and keeping your body in motion for at least one hour each day will help. Other habits that can help you hit the hay include eating an early dinner and handling important business and personal matters during daylight hours.
If physical pain and strain keep you up at night, take steps to eliminate discomfort so that pain is not your primary focus when things get still and quiet. Fixating on muscle aches is quite simply bad for the bed. Massage Magazine notes that one of the simplest ways to alleviate certain types of pain is by using kinesio tape. This is a special material that stretches in a way that mimics the epidermis of the skin. It provides a directional pull, which can ease muscle contractions and cramping. Other ways to reduce discomfort include indulging in a warm bath or taking an anti-inflammatory 30 minutes before bedtime.
Despite what your friends think, you are under no obligation to share a bed with your spouse or partner. In fact, approximately 25 percent of couples sleep separately and are all the happier for it. Benefits of sleeping solo include waking up happier and more physical intimacy throughout the day.
Eat yourself to sleep
While it’s certainly a good idea to avoid a large meal within a few hours of bedtime, there are many great snacks that can up your body’s production of serotonin and help you get to sleep from the inside out. Almonds, oats, and bananas are among the top five foods to eat before bed. Cherries are another healthy option if they are in season. Avoid alcohol, caffeinated beverages and red meat in the three hours prior to that time.
Last but not least, your bedroom environment can make or break your sleeping abilities. Outfit your bed with cotton sheets, which will wick moisture away from the skin. Run a small fan and noise machine if outside sounds are problem. A sleep mask and earplugs will further block out the outside world and eliminate distractions. Set your thermometer to 68 degrees and make sure you have a pillow that best fits your sleep style. A soft squishy pillow may not be the best option if you sleep on your stomach just as a small flat cushion won’t provide the support you need as a back sleeper.
Sleep does not have to remain elusive. With a little preparation, you can create the comfort you need to just into dreamland.
This article is not intended as medical advice. Consult your health care provider if you have continual sleep disturbances, as poor sleep may indicate health concerns such as a hormone imbalance or sleep apnea.