Sleep is integral to overall health, and it is part of the balance that the body and mind require to function properly. While its obvious rest is necessary and can't be avoided, it may not be as obvious how important it is. Since sleep affects mood, weight, energy, and focus, it is essential to strive to make it a top priority.
AFC Urgent Care Bedford has your health at the top of our priorities. We want all members of our community to live their healthiest life. Visit our center for more resources on healthy living, including wellness, nutrition, and tips for moving your body. Here are some tips to making priceless sleep a more accessible part of the daily routine.
Increase Bright Lights During the Day
The body runs on a cycle of light and dark to make it go. We need adequate daily exposure to the sunlight during the day as a part of this process. The brain will release the proper hormones that help the body relax and fall asleep when it's dark at night and the sunlight is gone. This light cycle also helps to feel awake and not groggy in the morning.
Get Consistent Exercise
Exercise gives the body a reason to sleep at night. The body will respond to the strenuous activity and plan to rest and recover during that night through sleep. Exercise can help tire the body out to be ready for sleep. It is recommended not to exercise shortly before bed as it stimulates the nervous system.
Avoid Liquids Before Bed
Fluids before bed can lead to getting up in the middle of the night. Sugary fluids require the body to devote energy to digestion and can provide excess energy. It is not recommended to drink within an hour or two before bed.
Alcohol affects sleeping even worse. Alcohol disrupts sleep and hormone patterns leading to trouble falling and staying asleep.
Create a Relaxation Routine
Relaxing before bedtime can help lead the body down the path towards sleep. Relaxation involves calming the mind and reducing stimulation. Calming music, a massage, or breathing exercises can be used to enter a state of relaxation contrary to the excitement of the day. A hot shower or bath taken about 90 minutes before bed is also helpful for many to get restful and timely sleep.
Avoiding Eating Before Bed
Eating before bed can have a similar effect to drinking fluids as it provides the body with energy which could disrupt relaxation and sleep. The metabolism will also be stimulated as the body must digest the food while trying to sleep. Instead, eating the last significant meal hours before bed is recommended.
Create Comfortable Conditions
The best way to ensure comfortable sleep is to make the sleeping conditions comfortable. The temperature and lighting in the room will directly affect the success of sleep. The room should be cool, quiet, and dark when it is time for rest to contrast the bright and loud active period during the day. Comfort also extends to the bed, pillow, and sheets, requiring some trial and error to pick the right combination.
Use Blue Light
The light that comes from laptops and phones is called blue light. This light can trick the brain into thinking it's daytime. This light upsets the brain's natural sleep and wake cycle and will lead to disrupted sleep patterns.
It is best to avoid this stimulation for a few hours before bedtime. There are blue light glasses and specific apps to block this light on electronic devices.
Avoid Any Late Caffeine
Caffeine is a potent stimulant. It wakes the body and mind up and tells it to go. It can keep the body running extra long into sleep hours, thus preventing sleep. Cutting caffeine earlier in the day or reducing overall intake can help encourage relaxation and late-night tiredness.
Get in a Routine
Since our body runs on a cycle that tells it to sleep and wake, it is necessary to maintain that cycle. Waking up at the same time every day will create a routine the body will become accustomed to. This routine will help the body feel tired at night and energized during the day to improve sleep.
Many supplements may be beneficial to sleep. These are natural ingredients that have an effect that can encourage the right conditions for sleep when the time is right. Prescription sleep medications often have adverse side effects and are meant to force sleep using chemicals.
Beneficial natural sleep supplements include Ginkgo biloba, lavender, glycine, Valerian root, magnesium, l-theanine. Melatonin supplements can also improve sleep for some, but melatonin can cause a need for increased use to remain effective as it offsets natural melatonin production.
Get Better Sleep Today
These tips and habits can have a significant impact on sleep health. Getting sleep down to a manageable routine can help make days more productive and worthwhile. Many of these tips cost little to nothing but can provide increased quality sleep. Try improving sleep nightly to experience all of the invaluable natural benefits it provides. Call us at 781-430-8161 for more information.