Jun 1, 2012

Tips for Restful Sleep

   For adults, getting an average of 8 hours of uninterrupted, restful sleep is essential for optimal health. Restful sleep refreshes and rejuvenates our bodies. While we sleep, repairs are made on a cellular level, impaired adrenal function is restored, injured tissue is repaired, and the immune system is able to function more efficiently.

   Not getting the proper amount of restful sleep may lead to difficulty concentrating, extreme fatigue, irritability, higher risk of accidents, and may even lead to increased blood pressure, higher risk of obesity, and other long-term illnesses. 

   Stress, odd work hours, and busy schedules are just a few reasons that 69% of adults aren’t getting enough sleep.  Although we may not be able to control all of the factors that interfere with sleep, we can work to form healthy sleeping habits. 

Tips for restful sleep include:
  • Develop a sleep schedule- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day (even on weekends and holidays).
  • Watch what you eat/drink- Don’t go to bed too full or too hungry.  Avoid using nicotine, caffeine (found in chocolate, tea, coffee, and some sodas), and alcohol; which can have an effect on your sleep. 
  • Develop a nightly routine where you let your body know that it’s time to prepare for sleep. Ideas are taking a bath/shower, reading a book, listening to music, or any other relaxing activities. Turn off the TV or other electronic devices which may stimulate the brain and interfere with sleep.
  • Make sure you have a comfortable sleep environment- Keep your room cool (60-68° is ideal), dark, and quiet.  Purchase a comfortable bed, pillow and blankets.
  • If you nap during the daytime, limit naps to 10-30 minutes.  Also, try to nap during the middle of the day.  
  • Try to include physical activity into your day, just try not to exercise too close to bedtime.
  • Find ways to manage stress.
  •  If you can’t fall asleep within the first 15 minutes, get up and read or listen to calming music until you feel sleepy enough to go back to bed. 
  • Try using herbs to help promote restful sleep! Herbs can be powerful in relaxing the body and calming the mind, making it easy to fall asleep and stay asleep until morning without waking up feeling groggy.
o   Valerian Root is a soother and depressor of the central nervous system.
o   Passionflower relieves restlessness, irritability and difficulty falling asleep.
o   Skullcap contains sedative properties.
o   Eleuthero reduces the negative effects of stress on your immune system.

No comments:

Post a Comment