4 Tips To Improve Your Sleep From The Herbalist
It’s no big secret that sleep is a crucial part of our health and well-being. It is a key component of human life that we need to survive – like food and water. But in a world of digital entertainment, increasing mental health problems and an increase in work at home, sleep is often the first element of our daily life to be neglected and suffer.
If you suffer from disturbed sleep, whether long-term or short-term, it’s important to remember that things can change and that it’s possible to get the rest your mind and body need to thrive.
So, why is sleep so important to your health?
Sleep helps the mind and body repair, regenerate and heal. It allows us to wake up feeling refreshed, reinvigorated and ready to take on the day ahead. And not only does a good night’s rest add a positive spring to our step – it also has many other benefits.
Sleep is essential for various aspects of brain function. Cognition, concentration, productivity and performance are all negatively affected by sleep deprivation. In turn, this affects our decision-making and problem-solving skills, ability to concentrate, memory and overall daily motivation.
And on the physical side?
Your immune system depends on sleep to stay healthy, and a lack of it can result in you struggling with frequent infections. Sleep also supports the healing of your heart and blood vessels, the repair of cells and tissues, maintaining a healthy balance of hormones.
We know that sleep helps the body in many ways and is critical to our overall health. And we also know the damage that lack of sleep can have on our health and well-being both immediately and over time. As individuals, we all have a unique pattern and requirements when it comes to sleep. And it’s all about finding what works for you! But the general recommendation for adults is between 7-9 hours a day.
Limit caffeine and alcohol
Enjoy a coffee or two in the morning? Take heart! But try to avoid drinking much past lunch, as caffeine stimulates your nervous system and can prevent your body from naturally relaxing at night. If you’re craving an afternoon coffee, try decaf as an alternative. Alcohol should also be avoided or limited before bedtime. It may help with feeling sleepy at first, but it is known to disrupt sleep patterns, increase snoring, and reduce nighttime melatonin production. And we already know that this is essential for a good night’s sleep!
Add exercise into your daily routine
We all know the positive effect that exercise can have on our mind and body. But did you know that it can also improve our sleep? It not only increases sleep quality, but it decreases the risk of excessive weight gain, which can be a cause for sleep deprivation in itself. Whether it’s walking, jogging, swimming or doing yoga – make sure it’s something you enjoy!
Reduce screen time before bed
With most of us keeping our phones by our bedside, it’s tempting to indulge in screen time until we choose to shut our eyes. But blue light emitted by our phones and laptops tricks our body into thinking it’s daytime – reducing hormones like melatonin that help us relax and enter deep sleep.
Try to eliminate any screen time in the hour before bed. Use this hour as an opportunity to read, relax, and indulge in self-care. You deserve that.
Get comfortable in bed
This may seem obvious to some, but our bed and environment must support us in our mission to sleep. If you wake up uncomfortable, you may need a new mattress and/or pillows. Always invest in a good quality mattress and bed – we spend a third of our lives in our bed!