For many American a good night’s sleep is “something to only dream about.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study a few years ago and found that more than one third of American adults are not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep can lead to a number of chronic health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and even mental distress.
It’s not only that Americans aren’t getting enough sleep; they aren’t getting enough quality sleep. When you wake up feeling exhausted the next day, it impacts your mood and ability to think clearly. The National Sleep Foundation defines quality sleep as:
- Sleeping more time while in bed (at least 85 percent of the total time)
- Falling asleep in 30 minutes or less
- Waking up no more than once per night; and
- Being awake for 20 minutes or less after initially falling asleep.
Tips for better sleep
If you are having trouble going to sleep and staying asleep, there are some things you can do.
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.
Reduce blue light exposure night: Do you read to fall asleep at night? If you are reading on your tablet or laptop, it may be having the opposite effect. Bright blue light emitted from electronic devices may be tricking your body into thinking that it’s still daylight. If you are going to read on your device at night, try using blue light blocking glasses. There also are apps that filter blue light on devices.
Exercise: Try to include exercise as part of your regular routine. Sleep.org says that 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.
Yoga also can help improve sleep, especially among chronic insomnia sufferers. Psychology Today notes a study that evaluated the effects of Yoga on 20 people with insomnia, both primary and secondary. Secondary insomnia is associated with another medical condition. Participants practiced yoga for eight weeks, keeping a diary of their sleep throughout. Researchers found improvements in sleep efficiency, sleep time, wake time and the amount of time it took participants to fall asleep.
Improve your diet: Sleep.org recommends that 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.
Take Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep cycles. The use of melatonin supplements can help alleviate problems related to falling and staying asleep. You can get the benefits of Melatonin with BIOTONE’s new Lab+Blends CBD Dream Drops. It’s a drug-free, non-habit forming sleep aid that features Cannabidiol (CBD), Melatonin and Vitamin B6.
If you are suffering from sleep issues, it’s time for a change for your own sake and the well-being of your clients.