Sleeping is as easy as lying down, closing your eyes and shutting down your mind. But getting good sleep is not as easy. The right amount of sleep that the average adult should be getting is between 7 to 9 hours but that seems to be a rare occasion for most. When we don’t know the best ways to get good sleep, we spend the day just going through the motions, increasing our chances of heart disease, kidney disease, a poor immune system, diabetes, and obesity.
That’s right, the ways to get good sleep can aid in fat loss and prevent weight gain. Studies done by NCBI ( National Center for Biotechnology Information) show that there is a rise in obesity just as there is a rise in sleep deprivation. To counter those results, we need to make sure we get enough sleep. The goal is to make sure you feel good when you wake up, look better, and stay healthy.
Life gets hectic and there aren’t many ways to prevent that from happening. Sticking to a schedule gets harder when you need to work late, then eat dinner late, put the kids to bed late, and finally, get to bed too late. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to stick to a schedule that way we get the right amount of sleep. Consider when you need to wake up and try to set a bedtime so that you get 7-9 hours of sleep. Find the right amount of hours you need by testing it out. Sleep for 7 hours one night and see how you feel. If 7 hours isn’t enough, work your way up to 9 until it feels right.
When you look at your bedroom, you should see comfort, feel comfort and breathe comfort. Do you have a good pillow? Is there good air circulation? Is your mattress comfortable? If the answer to any of these questions is no, fix it. Most sleep studies show that a room should be between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s time for a new mattress, be picky, make sure you don’t rest until you find the right one. To find the right mattress, lie in your sleep position for 15 minutes to make sure it feels comfortable. Fans are also a good investment, they keep the air flowing and give perfect air circulation.
You don’t need me to tell you, again, that exercise is a great solution to your problem. Doctors are beginning to recommend exercise to the one in three Americans who suffer from some sort of insomnia. Shawn Youngstedt, a sleep researcher at Arizona State University, says sleeping pills do work well, but maybe a little too well. Over time, our bodies begin to rely on sleeping pills and they begin to lose their effectiveness. Those qualities make them dangerous and comparable to a pack of cigarettes. Exercise, on the other hand, will not harm your health and is worth a shot.
Magnesium is an important mineral in the body that serves many functions. This mineral aids in digestion helps energy production and regulates other nutrients in the body. Studies done at the UMMC, University of Maryland Medical Center, found that magnesium has been shown to support muscle relaxation and help relieve migraines, depression and even high blood pressure. These studies have shown that magnesium is a natural alternative if there is a lack of sleep in your life. The best part is, magnesium can be found at your local grocery store in foods like whole wheat bread, bananas, spinach, oats, nuts, bran cereals, and chocolate.
Another natural alternative to sleep aids is Melatonin. Johns Hopkins sleep expert Luis F. Buenaver, Ph.D., says that Melatonin does not cause us to sleep, it only allows our bodies to achieve a state of preparedness for sleep. The best way to get Melatonin is to do it naturally. Avoid stimulation like television and cellular devices a couple hours before bed. Instead, read a book or a magazine. If that isn’t working, you can try to boost your Melatonin by taking it orally a couple of hours before bed. Melatonin is one of the natural ways to get good sleep but try everything else before resulting to supplements.
It’s not uncommon for us to reach for an energy boost in the mid-afternoon in the form of a Starbucks coffee. Avoid that coffee, in fact, avoid every form of caffeine several hours before bed. Caffeine triggers a few different physical responses, our heart rates pick up, endorphins fire, adrenaline is released. It’s no wonder we toss and turn after that 2 o’clock pick up.
A warm shower is one of the easiest ways to get good sleep. Warm showers help our muscles release tension and that’s perfect after a long day. If a full shower feels better to you in the morning, take a quick one before bed or soak in a bath of essential oils. Not to mention, feeling clean would work wonders for you when trying to fall asleep.
Easier said than done sometimes, but we need to relax. No talking, no texting, no worrying about the next day or stressing about something specific. No matter what it takes for you to relax, do it. Read a book, paint, meditate, do yoga or go for a run. Whatever calms your mind and allows you to just breathe, do it. Try and make sure that time you take to relax is in the evening hours, the closer to bedtime the better.