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Good Sleep

Sleep is vital to your health and well being. As adults, we often prioritize other activities such as entertainment or exercise over a good night’s sleep, compared to when we were children and our parents ensured we got enough rest. Because sleep is so important to your overall health, and your overall health is so important to us here at Brightpath, we want to share with you the following seven ways to get better sleep, starting tonight!

1. Establish a Sleep Schedule

Yes, same as when you were a child maintaining a regular time to go to sleep and wake up, even on weekends!, is beneficial to improving sleep quality. A sleep schedule helps you fall asleep faster as your body knows what to expect, it also ensures that you get adequate rest. Going to sleep at a regular time and being in a dark environment helps regulate the adrenal glands which regulate your metabolism & immune system.

2. Turn Off Electronics 1-2 hrs Before Bed

Taking a break from the mental stimulation and artificial illumination of electronics makes a bit different in your ability to fall asleep quickly. Your brain has time to unwind while unstimulated. Find a soothing activity to do like some gentle stretching, a warm bath or reading a book.

3. Try to Exercise in the daytime

Being physically active is absolutely important to getting a good nights rest, but saving your activity until right before bedtime stimulates you and can make it much harder to settle down. Even though your heart rate may slow down within 5 or 10 minutes of your workout ending, it takes longer for your body to relax. It can take more than an hour to settle enough to sleep. By exercising earlier in the day you’ll be more tired and prepared for sleep. Exercise also has the benefit of improving your mood!

4. Avoid excessive Eating & Drinking 1-2 hrs Before Bed

While you might feel sleepy after having a big meal, it’s no way to build a healthy sleep routine! If you avoid large meals or drinking right before bed your body can focus on the business of sleep, not digestion. You won’t be disturbed by the need to wake up and use the bathroom, so your body can cycle through the phases of sleep uninterrupted.

5. Limit Naps to 30 mins

There is no harm in taking a nap if you need a restful break during the day! Naps can be necessary to get you through the day – to help you maintain short-term alertness. You do want to be careful not to nap longer than 30 minutes so your sleep time at night isn’t interrupted.

6. Make Your Bedroom Sleep-Friendly

dark room

There are some tools you can use to create a better sleep environment in your bedroom. Here in the North the sun doesn’t follow a regular rise and set, so even if you have your set sleep hours from 11 – 6 AM, the sun may come up at 5 and disturb your sleep quality! Or the city noise can wake you up before you’re ready.

 

  • blackout curtains will block out natural light that would otherwise signal your body that it’s time to wake up
  • A white noise machine will drown out outside noise
  • A cervical pillow and proper mattress can help support your neck and spine and ensure comfortable sleep

7. Take a Supplement

There are supplements that can help your body increase the hormones or minerals you need to get a healthy sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep wake cycle, and can be found in any vitamin aisle.

If you work shift work and need to sleep during the day, taking melatonin can help trigger your body that it is time to sleep.

If you lie in bed at night going over your to-do list or stressing about things, supplements such as L-theanine help to promote calmness.

A magnesium supplement can also calm the mind and body and prepare you for sleep.

Did you enjoy this article? Please take a moment to share it with someone else you know who may benefit from improving sleep quality.

 

Written By:  Dr. Gayamali Karunaratna, ND

Date: Aug. 20, 2020