Good sleep is elusive for a lot of us. Whether you’re not getting a restful night’s sleep, or not sleeping soundly throughout the night, poor sleeping habits can negatively impact your physical and mental health.
Impacts of Poor Rest
When we’re not fully rested, we’re just going through the motions, only able to squeak out the bare minimum of our energy reserves. We’re not able to concentrate, recall information or make sound decisions as easily as we would after a good night’s rest.
Sleepiness has been linked to weight gain, as well. Studies have shown that when people don’t get enough sleep, they have increased levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin and decreased levels of leptin, the hormone that triggers the feeling of fullness.
Still, many of us are squeaking by on minimal sleep. Pounding coffee throughout your day will almost assuredly affect your ability to fall asleep later. It’s a vicious circle.
Tips for Better Rest
If you’re ready to get serious about better sleep, take these tried-and-true suggestions into consideration:
Institute bedtime rules. No talking about work or other daytime stresses within an hour of bedtime.
Enjoy a relaxation routine. In keeping with your no-stress-before-bed rule, take the time to wind down before you turn off the light. Wash your face, enjoy a book or listen to relaxing music, for example. Your smartphone and/or tablet should be banned from your bedroom. No scanning the news headlines or venting about the day’s events.
Another smart choice: Try THRIVE Rest, part of Le-Vel’s THRIVE nutritional supplement line. THRIVE Rest is a Sequential Gel Technology product that provides maximum absorption and delivers benefits like stress management, relaxation support, and a calming and restful effect. This dual-action formula helps the body get a restful night’s sleep – so you can wake up refreshed and give life everything you’ve got.
Don’t let the light in. According to the National Sleep Foundation, exposure to artificial light after dark can send wake-up messages to the brain, suppressing the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, and making it harder not only to fall asleep, but to stay asleep.
Keep it cool. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a room temperature of between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Consider a white noise machine. A passing car or the sound of a neighbor’s dog three doors down can rev up your brain if you’re already wired.
Establish a regular sleep routine. Most people need 6-8 hours of sleep every night. Make sure you get to bed and wake up on a regular schedule each day. If energy is a problem for you, it might be due to nutritional gaps.
Workout as early in the day as possible. Nighttime exercise is great, but you’ll want to stop at least four hours before bed. During and after your workout, your body’s temperature rises, so you want to give yourself adequate time to cool down before hitting the sheets.
Pay attention to nutrition. We know that heavy meals before bed can interrupt sleep, since the body is working hard to digest food. A light snack of crackers and cheese, or a slice of toast with almond or peanut butter, a cup of whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk, cottage cheese or yogurt with chopped banana and a few walnuts are all great choices. You’re aiming for a few carbs and a bit of protein.
Sleep is an important part of healthy living, just like eating right and exercise. So make it a priority! You can learn more about THRIVE Rest on the Le-Vel website. Sweet dreams, everyone!