By Sheila Olson
Sleep is an opportunity for your body and your brain to recharge. When you don’t get enough rest, you may find yourself feeling tired and sluggish. Insufficient sleep also puts you at greater risk for health issues such as heart disease and stroke. If that isn’t enough to encourage you to prioritize sleep, then maybe an appeal to vanity will help: Sufficient sleep actually helps you look younger. It encourages the body to produce human growth hormone, which allows you to maintain elasticity in your skin, and makes for less puffy, brighter eyes!
Invest in high-quality bedding: If you find yourself tossing and turning in discomfort at night, then it may be time to get a new mattress. Lumpiness and sagging are signs that it’s time to upgrade. In addition to your mattress, consider investing in new pillows and linens as well. There are modern sheets to suit every style and you have a huge array of fabrics to choose from, from silk to cotton. For example, if you tend to be a sweaty sleeper at night, look for moisture-wicking sheets that will take the sweat away from your body. Wicked sheets are one great option as they are breathable, hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking, and quick drying.
Create a noise- and light-free sleeping space: The way you set up your bedroom can play a big role in how much rest you receive at night. The first step is to eliminate light coming in from outside sources. Even if it doesn’t actually wake you up, light can influence your sleep cycle, taking you out of the more restful and rewarding phases and leading to a lighter, less productive sleep. Use blackout curtains to keep light out. If you have trouble with noise in the night, invest in a sound machine to block out barking dogs, car horns, and all the other hassles of the outside world.
Get into a regular bedtime routine: A regular bedtime routine isn’t just for kids. Adults also benefit from a set sleep and wake cycle. When you go to sleep and get up at the same time every day, your body naturally eases into this rhythm. This means when you lie down, you won’t spend hours wide-eyed and alert in bed but will naturally feel sleepy right away. Get into a regular routine for bedtime. Building these habits can signal to your body that it is time to hit the hay.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult should get seven to nine
hours of sleep per night. Do all you can to improve your chances of reaching this recommended benchmark. When you put these tips into practice, you will not only find yourself feeling more alert during the day, you may even find yourself looking younger.
Thank you to Sheila Olson from FitSheila.com for contributing her wisdom on better sleep!
More sleep tips from Andrea: Wear glasses that block blue light, use relaxing essential oils like lavender and palmarosa in a diffuser or on acupressure points on the body, take the Ultimate Sleep supplement thirty minutes before bedtime (this has been working so well for me and my patients.) Some studies are also beginning to show that turning off the wifi in your house during sleeping hours and keeping your phone away from your bed may be beneficial. Do you have any tips on getting a great night’s rest? We would love to hear them!