“Sleep is the best meditation” – Dalai Lama
Importance of Sleep
Sleep deprivation has become one of the top health problems for American’s today.
Lack of sleep can have effects on your mental and physical health. Sleep is what allows us to recharge our mind and body and feel refreshed. If we do not get enough sleep our brains do not function properly, impairing our ability to concentrate and process our memories. The general sleep recommendation is 7-8 hours every night.
Benefits of sleep on Health and Wellbeing
Sleep has numerous benefits for one’s health and wellness.
Boost immune system – Getting enough sleep can help fight off diseases and improve the effectiveness of vaccines.
Increase productivity – Proper sleep increases productivity, including higher concentration level and better cognitive function. This can help you perform better at work or at home.
Help your mood – The proper amount of sleep helps you wake up rested and gives you energy. This improved energy helps you feel less annoyed and angry, overall improving mood.
Improve memory – While you sleep, your mind is still working, processing the memories you made that day. It is essential to get enough sleep for your mind to process and consolidate your memories.
Help Prevent Weight Gain – Getting enough sleep can decrease the chance of your body producing ghrelin, which is a hormone that will increase your appetite. It can improve the production of a hormone called leptin that lets you know you are full. When you feel full, you will not be tempted to eat late at night when going to bed.
What to do to improve your sleep
When you want to improve your sleep, it is vital to increase your sleep quality over quantity. Below are five tips to try and improve your sleep.
1. Change your sleep environment – Make your room dark and quiet by covering your windows with blackout curtains or using a sleep mask. A white-noise machine or fan leaves your brain at a constant signal, so other little noises don’t wake you up. In comparison, earplugs lower background noise. It is essential to make sure you have a good quality mattress to ensure your body is getting the support it needs to sleep well. Try using essential oils such as lavender to provide a calming atmosphere.
2. Try and go to bed at the same time each night – Create a routine of going to bed at the same time each night and waking up simultaneously. Allow yourself a chance to unwind 30 minutes before going to bed, try reading a book, listening to calming music, or meditating. Turning off your electronics further helps the quality of sleep.
3. Work out in the morning instead of the evening – Be careful not to perform any high-intensity exercises two hours before bedtime. Light exercise at night can help you unwind and further promote your quality of sleep.
4. Avoid drinking caffeine at night – Caffeine is used to give you energy but drinking caffeine before bed can make it hard for you to fall asleep. It is recommended that you do not have caffeine after 3:00pm.
5. Spend time outside
– You want your body to produce serotonin during the day, which can be done from exposure of the sunlight, to give you plenty of energy to last throughout the day. This will allow your body to release melatonin at night, which is a hormone that will let you fall asleep. You can do this by spending time outside.
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