Sleep is one of the most important actions that we can do for our health. We all know that lack of sleep can make us feel moody, foggy and also affect our appearance. No one wants baggy eyes from lack of sleep, but the importance of sleep goes way beyond how we look on the outside.
Scientists have spent years conducting numerous studies to truly understand why sleep is so vital to our health. Their findings have confirmed that adequate sleep plays a critical role in the function of our immune system, metabolism, heart function, blood pressure, weight control, in addition to how we learn, comprehend and remember things.
Getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night on a consistent basis is the ultimate goal because six hours or less is when the dysfunction starts to occur. Many struggle to attain that goal and turn to prescription drug sleep aids; which can be addictive and create a number of side effects.
Here are 3 simple ways to ensure you are getting quality sleep each night without drugs. Once you make these a habit, you’ll be sleeping like a baby.
Create a spa-like environment. Ensure your bedroom is the right temperature, cool is always better. Start a humidifier, maybe even one that also creates white noise like Vicks; which is my favorite. It will make it easier to breathe and is instantly relaxing. Keep your bedroom clean and organized because sleep can certainly be more challenging in a dirty space. Turn on some spa-type music, keep it very low, and allow yourself to drift away.
Prepare for sleep through yoga and meditation. This may sound like an overwhelming nightly practice but it doesn’t have to be. Since both yoga and meditation are about breath, just taking a few minutes within your spa-like bedroom to sit on your bed, legs stretched out in front of you, to breathe deeply in through your nose and out through mouth will make an incredible difference. Stretching before sleep will also enable your body to relax more quickly.
Shut down all electronic devices in your home an hour before your planned bedtime. The bright screens and information overload plays a large role in the sleep-deprived nation we’ve become over the past ten years. If you are struggling to get to sleep and stay asleep, your phone, computer and television could be to blame. Turn everything off and give yourself the quiet time your body deserves.