It’s the middle of the night and you’re still not asleep. Sound familiar? For many Americans, failure to get sufficient and quality shuteye is a chronic problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did a healthy sleep study and found that more than one-third of American adults do not get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night.
Sleep deprivation affects your mind and body. Waking up feeling exhausted the next day impacts your mood and ability to think clearly. Even more concerning, when you can’t sleep, your health may suffer. Health conditions associated with insufficient and quality sleep include:
- Heart disease: Less than five hours of sleep a night can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Obesity: Sleep deprivation throws off the signals to your brain that you have had enough to eat. This can upset the hormonal balance that controls your appetite and metabolism so that you may overeat even when you’ve had enough food.
- Diabetes: Lack of sleep affects the body’s processing of glucose. People who have sleep issues have higher blood sugar levels, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
- Weak immune function: Insufficient sleep can weaken the immune system, so it’s harder for your body to fight off infections.
- Depression: Sleep issues have been associated with stress, anxiety, and depression.
What happens when you sleep?
A number of biological processes occur that are essential to good health occur when you sleep. Most notably:
- The brain stores new information and gets rid of toxic waste
- The body repairs cells, restores energy and releases hormones and protein molecules
- Nerve cells communicate and reorganize to support healthy brain function.
Ways to get a better night’s sleep
By now, you probably have learned that counting sheep won’t inspire sleep. But there are some proven ways to get to sleep and stay asleep. Here are five:
Stick to a schedule: Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. If you have to vary the schedule, try to limit it to no more than one-hour difference. By being consistent, you reinforce your sleep-wake cycle.
Keep circadian rhythm ticking: Circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock. It regulates your sleep/wake cycles. Natural sunlight during the day increases daytime energy and nighttime sleep quality. That’s why you want to be sure to get some exposure to sunlight each day.
Exercise: Try to include exercise as part of your regular routine. Even as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise on a regular basis can improve sleep quality. By expending energy through exercise, you feel more tired. Exercise also reduces stress and anxiety which contribute to sleep problems and restlessness.
Improve your diet: a balanced diet that emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins that are rich in Vitamin B are best for a good night’s sleep. Avoid large fried or high-fat meals, spicy foods, alcohol, and soda—especially close to bedtime. Also eating right can lead to a reduction in body fat, which can affect sleep quantity and quality.
Try CBD: Some research on CBD and sleep indicates that CBD may interact with specific receptors in the endocannabinoid system to potentially affect the sleep/wake cycle. Furthermore, by reducing the symptoms of pain and anxiety, CBD may also contribute to a more restful sleep.
Lab+Blends Dream Drops Nighttime Sleep Aid, was formulated to be taken before bedtime each night to help ease problems related to falling and staying asleep. In addition to CBD, the non-habit-forming sleep aid features Melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep cycles, and Vitamin B6.