5 hours per night has been shown to increase morality rate by up to 15%. Sleep is the time for our bodies to perform its "major restorative functions in the body such as tissue repair, muscle growth, and protein synthesis occur almost exclusively during sleep." According the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. So how can you get a better nights sleep? Most people already know, that finding the right mattress and pillow are an important step towards a better nights sleep, but here are some helpful tips that you may not have known.
1. Maintain a regular schedule
Maintaining a consistent wake and bed time (even on days off), regular meals, medications, chores and others regular activities will help your internal clock regulate. This will help your body know when it is time to shut down at night.
2. Eating healthy
Eat 3 meals a day and do not skip meals. Ensure that what you eat is healthy, to support proper function of the body.
3. Don't nap
Napping will make you less drowsy come bedtime, making it harder to fall asleep. If you do require a nap, ensure that you do so at the same time every day, and that it lasts no longer than one hour. The ideal time for a nap is 25 minutes, no later than 3:00 pm.
4. Wind down
Use low light before bed, such as a small table lamp, or candles. Create a sleep promoting room with no distractions such as technology. Create a sleep ritual, such as a warm bath with Epsom salts.
5. Avoid large meals close to bed
Your body can either put its energy into healing and resting, or digestion. If you eat too much before bed, your body may spend it's time digesting instead of resting.
Exercise regularly, but ensure that vigorous exercise is done at least 6 before bed, to give your body time to relax again. If you enjoy night time exercise, make sure it is mild, such as a walk.
7. Beware what you drink
Stay away from caffein for at least 6 hours before you want to go to bed. Alcohol is also something to limit, as it is not a healthy sleep aid.
8. Complete darkness
Our bodies desire a dark place free of stimulation such as light and noise. Set your room up to be as dark as you can, or get yourself a good sleep mask.
9. Bundle up
Cold extremities can hinder sleep.
10. Only go to bed drowsy
Don't go to bed wired, your room is a place for sleep. If you cannot fall asleep within 20 minutes find a quite activity elsewhere, until you feel drowsy again. "Sleep is like a train, if you miss it you have to wait for the next one to come around."
Remember, if all else fails, clear your mind, and just think "Breathe in...breathe out".
Optimum Wellness Naturopathic Medical Clinic - Guidelines for better Sleep
Provided by Stacey Oswald RMT