We all know that eating healthily, keeping hydrated and exercising enough is good for our health; we’re told it every day in all kinds of ways from advertising to our doctors. Yet there is another element that we need to consider – sleep.
Not getting enough quality sleep can lead to all kinds of health problems such as:
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
- Hormonal imbalances
- High blood pressure
- Mind impairment
Therefore, it is crucial that, when we are looking after ourselves, we make sure we get enough good sleep. That can be easier said that done, but here are some ways to ensure it happens.
Less Blue Light Exposure
Too much blue light exposure is extremely bad for us when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Blue light is the light that is emitted by screens including laptops, TVs and smartphones. This light confuses the body, making it think it is daylight. This means that the circadian rhythm is upset, and your body won’t know that it needs to tell you you’re tired.
Don’t allow anything with a screen in your bedroom – even if you’re not using these devices, the blue light can still affect you. Ideally, you should stop using them at least an hour before you intend to go to bed.
Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine shouldn’t be considered all bad even though it does tend to have that reputation. It is even known to have benefits. The problem comes when you consume caffeine later in the day. When the cut-off point is will depend on your individual circadian rhythm, but there will be a point in the day when, if you have a cup of coffee for example, it will have a detrimental affect and keep you awake.
The best advice, if you don’t want to give up caffeine but still want to sleep better, is not to have any caffeine at least eight hours before bed. Alternatively, change to decaffeinated drinks instead. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system so you can’t relax enough to go to sleep.
Use Natural Supplements
Although you might not like the idea of taking prescribed sleeping pills to get to sleep because of their many and varied side effects, that doesn’t mean you can’t think about using natural supplements to help you.
Herbs and vitamins can help the body to relax, and these ‘medicines’ have been used for millennia all over the world – modern medicine is wonderful, but it can’t always replace the tried and tested methods.
Lavender can be used in a bath and a few drops can be left on your pillow. Chamomile can be drunk as a tea. You can even buy CBD hemp seed to help promote relaxation and therefore get a better night’s sleep.
Get A New Bed
Of course, it might be as simple as you need a new bed (or mattress, pillows, or a combination of all three). Rather than assuming your inability to sleep well stems from a health issue, it is worth checking your bed first.
See how old your mattress is; they should be replaced every seven to eight years. You should also always buy a good mattress, even if that means you will be spending more money. It may last longer and it will certainly be better in terms of a good night’s sleep.