How lack of sleep influeces your health and how to improve it

How lack of sleep influeces your health and how to improve it

We’ve all been there: just one night of disrupted sleep and we felt cranky or short-tempered, exhausted, unable to focus or even got sick. Lack of rest is stressful for the body and probably more dangerous than you’d assume, especially given the fact it increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases. During the night, our bodies work hard to recover. A good night sleep ensures healthy brain function, promotes good overall mood, and helps your physical health stays optimal. Your body develops a strong immune system and ensures you high performance during the day. Here’s how you can improve your sleep or even fight insomnia if you’re struggling with it.

Stay Away from Coffee and Alcohol

While you might like savoring a great cup of heavenly dark nectar or a glass of fine wine, it can interfere with your sleep cycle. Experts from the Harvard Medical say that both coffee and alcohol act as stimulants and keep you awake. Being a bit tipsy can make you drowsy and induce sleep but after a few hours – it will cause you to wake up and disrupt your shut-eye. This is why you should avoid these beverages four to six hours before going to bed. Chocolate and processed sugar should also be scratched from your evening menu.
coffee

Make Your Room Sleep-friendly

To make your bedroom easier to fall asleep in, start by lowering the temperature. The optimum is around 68 degrees and it ensures a comfortable night, especially by affecting the REM phase of your sleep. Keep your room nicely ventilated and think about installing a humidifier to achieve the best air quality. Consider painting your walls blue or purple as these colors have calming effects. Use heavy curtains to block the light and enjoy total darkness in the room. Pick sheets that are made of natural fabrics so your skin can breathe.

Consider Your Mattress

According to the Psychology Today, if you’re having trouble sleeping – changing your mattress might help. Consider its softness as well as other properties – whether or not it is antibacterial, if it supports the spine, ensures optimal temperature and breathability, etc. If you’re looking for a comfortable and good night sleep, consider a latex mattress: it provides good back support and chiropractors recommend it because it conforms spine’s natural curve and evens out the pressure along your back. If you’re having problems with allergies, make sure to pick the hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and antifungal one.
scent sticks

Embrace Aromatherapy and Ambient Sounds

Some scents are soothing and can induce sleep. Calming fragrances are usually extracted from essential oils and you should really give them a try. Geranium is a is a plant with a scent similar to roses and it helps with relieving stress. Jasmine, vanilla, and chamomile are also used to reduce anxiety but lavender is an absolute winner when it comes to relaxing effects. In addition to relaxing scents that can put you to sleep, you can turn to ambient sounds (e.g. sounds of rain, waves, or waterfalls) that will lower your heartbeat and soothe your body and mind.

No Screen Time Before Bed

Do you usually scroll through your phone before sleep? According to the report by National Sleep Foundation, 95% of people have a habit of using some sort of electronic device before bed which disrupts the sleeping cycle. Another study showed the same results: they tested the levels of melatonin (the so-called sleeping hormone) in two groups of people. One group used an e-reader right before sleep and one read from the regular paper books. After two weeks, two groups switched. The study showed melatonin production was reduced by 50%, causing a delay in circadian rhythm. Basically, the artificial light from your computer and tech gadgets sends a signal to your brain to stay awake.
meditation deep breathing

Deep Breathing Exercises and Meditation

Try deep breathing exercises as they lower your blood pressure and help you unwind. Meditation has also proven to be a great way to de-stress, as well as some of relaxing stretching exercises. Start by tensing your muscles (as tight as possible) and then slowly relaxing them. The blood flow will create a relaxing feeling and calm you down. Try different sleeping positions so you find the one that’s most comfortable. It also helps if you develop a night routine: from getting to bed consistently at the same time to small things you do before sleep (stretching, meditation, warm bath, etc.).   

If you’re suffering from extreme insomnia, consult a doctor; you may need some supplements or sleeping pills. In other cases, take these tips into consideration: we spend one-third of our lives sleeping so you might as well put some effort in making it comfortable and restful.

About the Author

Nicole is a travel addict and a passionate writer. She always seeks new adventures and she loves to share her experiences. She’s an architecture and interior design enthusiast. In her spare time, she loves to design furniture, clothes and jewellery. Also, she loves preparing and eating delicious food with her friends.

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