Do you feel like you are always tired, sluggish, run-down, and just plain grouchy? If so, the problem probably lies with how much sleep you are getting; or rather, how much sleep you aren’t getting.
Various studies have concluded that the average adult – from young to old – should be getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. However, in reality, far too many adults are falling short of this recommendation. In fact, most adults are getting less than six hours of sleep per night.
Some of the effects of not getting enough sleep are pretty obvious, such as moodiness and decreased focus. However, there are even more adverse effects that may not be as obvious; weight gain, memory loss, and impaired heart health, to name a few.
Sure, a cup of coffee or a double shot of espresso may be able to help you power through, but all that caffeine can be harmful to your health, too. How can you avoid the detrimental effects of not getting enough sleep? By actually sleeping more and getting a better quality of sleep. Here’s a look at five ways you can do just that – and do it naturally!
Establish a Bedtime – and Stick to It!
It’s hard to resist the urge to catch up on your favorite TV shows after a long day of work, or to just enjoy some quality time by yourself once the kids are tucked in. However, while you might feel like staying up a little later helps you unwind, in reality, it just compounds the problem.
If you really want to forego the issues that are associated with not getting enough sleep, you have to establish a bedtime – and stick to it! Determine what time you have to wake up in the morning and calculate what time you should go to bed in order to get a full eight hours of sleep. For example, if you have to get up at 6am make your bedtime no later than 10pm; and make it a rule of thumb to stick to it!
Scrolling through your social media newsfeed to catch up on the latest news, or to binge watch your favorite TV shows. However, while those electronics might seem soothing, they’re actually wrecking havoc on your sleep.
Studies have found that being exposed to electronics prior to bedtime stimulate your mind, making it more difficult to fall asleep, and get a restful sleep. Shut down the devices at least an hour before bed to avoid sleep problems.
Dim the Lights
Another way that you can improve sleep quality naturally is by reducing the amount of light you are exposed to while you’re sleeping. Even the smallest amount of light, such as a sliver penetrating your door, can impact your sleep. By completely omitting light sources, you could see a drastic improvement in your quality of sleep.
If you can’t eliminate all sources of light, try wearing a sleep mask. There are several comfortable options available that will effectively cut off exposure to all light and create a more hospitable sleep environment.
Keep Things Cool
You definitely don’t want to catch a chill while you’re sleeping, but wearing flannel PJs and covering up in layers of thick blankets can lead to extremely uncomfortable sleeping conditions. The bottom line: the more layers you have on, the hotter you’ll be, and the hotter you are, the more uncomfortable you will be.
You body temperature naturally rises while you’re sleeping, so wearing a ton of layers could end up making you overheat and ultimately impact your quality of sleep.
Photo by davinaware