Written By Mikkie Mills / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Good sleep is an essential component of good health. That being said, many still don't get the full amount of sleep they need each night. While this is understandable in today's fast-paced world, the reality is that it can be highly detrimental to overall health in the long run.
Not only can a lack of proper sleep cause short-term health concerns like brain fog or exhaustion, but it can also contribute to long-term health concerns like heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Because of this, finding ways to improve your sleep quality can be important, even if it doesn't always feel easy. If you are looking for some effective ways to start improving your sleep naturally, here are some things to try.
Find Ways To Reduce Your Stress Levels
One of the most important parts of improving sleep quality is making sure that you are taking steps to reduce your stress levels. When you are feeling stressed, your body will produce higher amounts of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
While these hormones are necessary for staying alert in a stressful situation, if you have too much of them present in your body in general it can lead to health issues, and can prevent you from falling into a deep, restful sleep at night.
The upside is that there can be many simple and natural ways to begin reducing stress. Depending on your lifestyle, some options for stress reduction may appeal to you more than others. For some, trying out new therapies like Young Living Essential oils could be one of the best options, while others may get more out of other stress-reduction techniques.
A popular and often effective way that you can begin reducing stress is by beginning a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness, which is also often called meditation, can be a great way to calm down both your body and your mind. Not only can meditating help you to clear your thoughts and focus better, but it can also help calm down your nervous system, and your body as well.
This can be beneficial for getting both your mind and body ready for bed. To see the best results from meditation, practicing for at least 20 minutes a day is ideal. However, if that is challenging for you, starting in increments of five to 10 minutes can be a good place to start.
Eat a Sleep-Supporting Diet
Although many may not realize it, the diet that they eat can have a lot to do with the quality of sleep that they get at night. A diet high in sugars and refined carbs can cause spikes in blood sugar, which can have a negative impact on hormones, including sleep hormones.
On the other hand, a diet full of sleep-supporting foods can be great for regulating your hormones and helping you get better rest. Some great foods for better sleep include lean meats, healthy fats, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, the times that you eat can have a noticeable impact on the quality of sleep that you get, too. Eating too much too late in the day can be particularly stressful for your digestive system. Because your body requires a lot of energy to digest food, eating too close to bedtime can end up keeping you awake. If you have to eat before bed, sticking to light snacks that contain lean protein is often your best bet.
Avoid Certain Beverages
Along with watching what you eat, you also need to make sure that you are watching what you drink, too. This is particularly important when it comes to caffeine and alcohol. A coffee in the morning can be a great way to get yourself up and going. However, the issue is that caffeine is a nervous system stimulant, and if you drink it too late in the day it can keep you up at night, as well.
Beyond that, what some aren't aware of is that caffeine can stay active within your system for up to several hours after drinking it. Because of this, if you want to avoid sleep issues due to caffeine it can be a good idea to limit your caffeine intake to the early hours of the day.
Caffeine isn't the only substance you need to think about when it comes to your sleep. Alcohol can be a big sleep disruptor, too. Even though some may think that a few drinks are a great way to unwind at night, they may end up preventing you from getting the quality of sleep that you need.
While it may not be difficult to fall asleep after drinking, it is generally harder to stay asleep. This is due to the fact that alcohol disrupts sleep cycles. A drink or two occasionally may not cause significant issues. However, if you want to get good, deep sleep, it may be best to avoid drinking alcohol on a regular basis.
Create the Right Sleeping Environment
The environment that you sleep in can have a lot to do with the overall quality of sleep that you are able to get. A bedroom that is noisy, hot or bright can make it very difficult to fall asleep, or to stay asleep. Also, some may become so accustomed to less-than-ideal sleeping conditions that they don't realize how it is impacting them.
For this reason, it is essential to assess your bedroom and how it might be impacting your sleep quality. One of the first things you should do is make sure that your bed is comfortable, and isn't causing any kind of joint or muscle pain. After you have done that, making sure that your bedroom is free of noise can be a good next step.
If there are noises that distract you, trying out high-quality ear plugs or some noise canceling panels can be helpful. Along with assessing the noise level, you also need to take the amount of light in your bedroom into consideration.
Getting some room darkening curtains can be a good idea if there is too much light for you to sleep well. The final thing you need to think about is the temperature in your room. If it is too hot, you might be prevented from falling into a deep sleep. Lowering the thermostat before you go to bed could be a simple way to resolve this for some.
Some Parting Considerations
Quality sleep is a cornerstone of good health. However, there are still many adults who are struggling to get the sleep that they need. Even though getting enough good sleep can sometimes be challenging, the truth is that there are simple and natural ways you can start improving your sleep quality today.
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Mikkie Mills is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks and DIY. When she's not writing, she's chasing the little ones around, walking her dog, or can be found rock climbing at the local climbing gym.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.
Photo by Alyson McPhee on Unsplash