5 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep March 20, 2019 – Posted in: Lifestyle – Tags: sleep
In Singapore, a recent study showed that one in three people are sleep-deprived, which, in turn, badly affects health. Do you know that leading a healthier lifestyle isn’t just about exercising regularly, eating right and going organic — sleep plays a big part too.
If we don’t catch enough ZZZs, we may find it challenging to stay active and eat healthy the next day. Let’s find out how sleep could impact our efforts to get healthier, and learn some tricks to sleep better.
HOW DOES LACK OF SLEEP AFFECT OUR HEALTH?
Quality of sleep has a huge impact on daily life as being sleep-deprived can affect a person’s productivity and concentration at work. It also affects emotional well-being, potentially causing irritability and moodiness. Numerous studies have found a relationship between the quantity and quality of sleep and various health problems such as the increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and depression.
Research suggests that when we don’t sleep enough, we’re more likely to choose fatty, sugary, high-calorie foods over more nutritious options. We’re also more likely to overeat.
To our sleep-starved brain, that upsized deep-fried chicken combo meal may seem much more appealing than a balanced meal of steamed fish, stir-fried veggies, and brown rice.
Lack of sleep could also put us off exercising. After all, it’s difficult to drag our tired bodies to the gym when we feel sluggish from lack of sleep.
Here’s the kicker: even if we continue to eat well and exercise, lack of sleep can affect how our body uses glucose, making it more difficult to lose weight!
Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. It turns out that chronic sleep loss can lead to lacklustre skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes. Luckily for you, you can treat the above-mentioned eye problems with these organic eye care products. Click here to find out more.
When you do not get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down collagen deposit in the skin thus making the skin age. Here comes organic anti-aging skincare to the rescue!
Sleep loss also causes the body to under-produce the human growth hormone. The human growth hormone has an important role in promoting growth. It also plays a part in increasing muscle mass, thickening the skin, and strengthening bones. It is usually released during deep sleep i.e. slow wave sleep. It is our body’s natural way of repairing and renewing our body.
So, how much sleep should we be getting? Adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Quality of sleep counts too! A good sleep is when we wake up refreshed, and don’t feel lethargic in the afternoon.
Here are some tips to get enough good quality sleep.
1. GET YOUR BODY MOVING
Having a good night’s rest gives us the energy to exercise the next day. It works the other way too: turns out, exercise can help us sleep better!
How? During exercise, our body temperature increases. A few hours after our workout, our body temperature drops, telling our body that it’s time to sleep. In short, exercise makes us sleepy.
To make the most of this post-workout drowsiness, exercise at least three hours before bedtime. But don’t work out right before bed as it’ll make you more awake.
Slower, relaxing exercises like Tai Chi and Qigong could also help you snooze better.
2. TAKE YOUR CAFFEINE EARLY
Beverages or foods that contain caffeine (e.g. chocolates, coffee and soft drinks) can affect sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that affects people, depending on the amount consumed.
Your mid-afternoon kopi could affect your sleep later at night — for some people, the caffeine’s effects can last up to six hours. That means if you had your coffee break at 4.30 pm, you might find yourself wide awake in bed at 10.30 at night.
This doesn’t affect everyone, of course. But if you’re not sleeping well, cutting that mid-day kopi might help. Why not try replacing your afternoon cuppa with herbal tea like chrysanthemum or ginseng? As a bonus, the switch will also reduce your sugar intake.
3. TRY DRINKING MILK
Drinking a glass of milk before bed may help you relax. Dairy products contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid, which helps in the production of sleep-inducing brain chemicals such as serotonin and melatonin. Dairy products also contain calcium, which helps the brain use the tryptophan to manufacture melatonin. It is important to note that these may not be suitable for individuals who may be lactose intolerant.
4. TRY DRINKING HERBAL TEA
A common way of helping with sleep is to have a cup of tea. Teas such as chamomile, passion flower and valerian may potentially have a sedative effect.
But try to avoid drinking too much fluids too close to bedtime, so as to reduce the need to go to the bathroom during the night, especially for individuals with urinary incontinence.
5. BE IN THE MOOD FOR SLEEP
Follow a relaxing routine before going to bed can help you to sleep better. For example, take a hot shower, change into your PJ, listen to calming music, or read a book.
The point is to separate your bedtime from other more exciting or stressful activities (e.g. stimulating video games or loud movies) which could make it harder for you to fall asleep.
Similarly, avoid using electronic devices before bed or in bed: the light from our phones and laptop keeps us alert, and could disrupt our normal sleep patterns!
Want to find out what’s the type of sleep disorders you have and how to overcome, according to Ayurveda? Check out our next blog : (input link of the blog on ayurvedic approach to sleep disorder)