Want A Good Nights Sleep? Try These Healthy Sleep Habits
We all know the perils of financial debt, but did you know that you can build up debt of sleep also? Getting shortchanged occasionally on your sleep is no a serious problem, but when it happens night after night, you build up a backlog of needed sleep. This sleep debt can affect your mood, health and safety. If you want a good nights sleep, try these healthy sleep habits.
The average person needs around eight and one-half hours of sleep every night. You might need a little less or a little more, but you need this sleep every day, just like you need water and oxygen. Losing just one hour of sleep per day builds up a “sleep debt”.
It’s not just the quantity of sleep that you need, it’s also the quality of sleep. You need a certain amount of deep sleep. During the deepest stages of sleep, your body releases growth hormone to stimulate tissue repair and regeneration. This means that if you don’t get enough good quality sleep, it will adversely affect your physical health.
For example, interrupted or impaired sleep can:
- Dramatically weaken your immune system.
- Accelerate tumor growth-tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions.
- Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you’ve already eaten, which can affect your weight gain.
- Seriously impair our memory; even a single night of poor sleep can impact your ability to think clearly the next day.
- Impair your performance on physical or mental tasks, and decrease your problem solving ability.
For a good night’s sleep try these healthy sleep habits, by optimizing your sleep sanctuary. To improve your sleep, you may need to modify some of your lifestyle choices, including diet and exercise. When your circadian rhythms are disrupted your body produces less melatonin (a hormone and an anti-oxidant) and has less ability to fight disease, since melatonin helps suppress free radicals.
Impaired sleep an also increase stress-related disorder, including: Heart Disease, Stomach Ulcers, Constipation, Mood Disorders
One study has even shown that people with chronic insomnia have a three times greater risk of dying from any cause. Lost sleep is lost forever, and persistent lack of sleep has a cumulative effect when it comes to disrupting your health. Whether you have trouble falling asleep, waking up too often, or feeling inadequately rested when you wake up in the morning-or maybe you simply want to improve the quality of your sleep-Try these healthy sleep habits:
1. Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin.
2. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees.
3. Check the electro-magnetic fields (EMF’s)
4. Take a hot bath, shower before bed. When your body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will help facilitate slumber.
5. Avoid before -bed snacks. Grains and sugars will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when the blood sugar drops too low, you may wake up and not be able to fall back asleep.
6. Put your work away at least one hour before bedtime. This will give your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling more calm, not hyped up about deadlines etc.
7. Avoid caffeine. In some people, caffeine is not metabolized efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. So, an afternoon cup of coffee or tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night.
8. Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short lived and you will often wake-up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body does most of its healing.
9. Exercise regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve sleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show that exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it.
10. Avoid foods you may be sensitive to. This is particularly true for sugar, grains, and pasteurized dairy. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating and gas.