Alaska Sleep Education Center

3 Ways To Help You Sleep Better

Posted by Julia Higginson on Jan 1, 2020 5:00:00 AM

Woman suffering from poor sleep last night.

Sleep is critical when it comes to maintaining your health and making sure that you get a good quality, deep sleep can make all the difference in your day-to-day life. If you struggle to sleep, you may notice that you are more irritable and emotional and you may find it harder to focus – you may also find that you’re more susceptible to illness. Trying to improve your sleep can be frustrating, but there are a few options to try, from implementing CBD products from Joy Organics into your day, choosing a new sleeping position, or shaking up your exercise routine. Read on to find out more about how you can get a deep, restful night’s sleep.  

Effects of poor sleep 

When you experience a lack of sleep or sleep deprivation, this is defined as getting less than 7 hours regularly, which in turn can result in your health beginning to suffer. Sleep is essential for us to maintain a healthy body and mind, so if you can’t seem to get as much as you need or as good quality as you should be, this can have a knock-on effect on how your body functions. 

When you sleep, your body repairs and restores, and your brain creates new memories and thoughts, so without good sleep, your quality of life is likely to lower significantly. But don’t worry! There are things that you can do to make sure you can benefit from a long, deep night’s sleep, so you can live a healthy and happy life. You can make changes to your lifestyle like finding an exercise that you enjoy, or you can take natural supplements to help you drift off with ease. Read on to find out more. 

  • CBD products

CBD is a natural substance that is used for helping those of us that have insomnia or broken sleep to sleep through the night. CBD can sometimes get a bad reputation, as it comes from the cannabis plant – however, you won’t have to worry about any mind-altering effects that might come with it, as THC is the chemical that is responsible for the high we associate with cannabis, and there are no nasty side effects with CBD. You can choose from CBD capsules to take like a daily vitamin, CBD oils to take orally under the tongue, as well as gummies and other edibles like cookies, and even hot drinks like tea and coffee. 

CBD interacts with the systems around our body and ensures that everything is functioning correctly, like our immune and digestive systems, as well as our appetite. Taking CBD supplements to iron out any issues throughout your body can help you to get a restful sleep. It is also said that it can have an impact on the amount of cortisol that the brain produces, meaning a reduction in negative and racing thoughts that can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. CBD can help you drift off, but it can also help you to stay in a deep sleep all night. 

  • Exercise 

Choosing an activity that you enjoy, like running, walking, cycling, or swimming – anything that gets your body moving – can be great for improving your quality and length of sleep. Moderate exercise, being sure not to overdo it, can increase the production of serotonin, which can leave us feeling happy and helps to reduce cortisol production in the brain, which means we can feel less stressed. It is said that working out in the morning is preferential when trying to help with sleep, however, any time can be helpful, just make sure you give yourself time to wind down afterward. 

  • Sleeping position 

The position that you sleep in is an individual preference, and if you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, it may be that it is time for a new mattress or a new sleeping position! There are three main types of sleepers – front, side, and back sleepers. Studies show that back sleepers tend to get better sleep than the rest, so if you’re struggling, this may be something that you could try. If you find that you can’t get comfortable, or you wake up in pain, especially in the lower back, this might mean you need a new mattress. If your mattress is over 8 years old and you can feel lumps or springs, this may signal that it is time to invest in a more suitable model so that you can sleep soundly every night.

The Importance of Sleep:

Sleep is the time when our body’s cells reenergize, waste is cleared from our brains, and learning and memory are supported. Sleep is also vital to mood regulation and appetite.

Lack of sleep is tied to your levels of motivation, concentration, and energy. When you are exhausted you may feel sluggish and unmotivated. You might even feel irritated. Exhaustion and irritability don’t lend themselves to wanting to start a new habit like exercising.

Even if you do find the motivation to start exercising the physical results are reduced when you aren’t getting enough sleep. Think of it as a domino effect; the more tired you are the less exercise you will be able to handle.

Lack of sleep also makes it more difficult to want to change your eating habits. You are more apt to make poor eating choices when you are tired. The appeal of fast food over home-cooked healthy meals seems easier when you are exhausted.

Have you ever wondered why sugary or salty foods are so appealing when you are feeling tired? Research shows that sleepiness decreases your level of leptin (the hormone responsible for making you feel full) while boosting gherlin (the hormone responsible for regulating your appetite). When your leptin is low and your gherlin is high the end result is your body craving foods that are salty, sugary, and high in carbohydrates.

 

Barriers to Sleep:

You need to sleep better might fail despite your best efforts if you happen to have an underlying medical sleep disorder. Have you been told you snore or are a restless sleeper?

Most people recognize nighttime snoring as a sign of sleep apnea. But did you know that long pauses in breathing, tossing and turning in bed, chronic mouth breathing while sleeping, daytime sleepiness, and night sweats due to an increased effort to breathe are also possible signs of apnea?

If you have any of these symptoms it's no wonder that sleep is a struggle. Receiving a diagnostic test in an AASM accredited lab, such as the Alaska Sleep Clinic, can be the first step in helping you towards easier breathing and restful sleep.

Medical sleep disorders are linked to either an obstruction blocking breathing or a central nervous problem that is preventing sleep. Common medical sleep disorders include:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): Individuals with OSA have difficulty moving air during sleep. OSA can be caused by an obstruction of the airway (usually enlarged tonsils and adenoids) or by obesity.
  • Hypoventilation: Hypoventilation means inadequate breathing or ventilation at night, which can lead to abnormal blood gasses. Hypoventilation is usually associated with complex medical disorders.
  • Narcolepsy: Individuals with narcolepsy usually have excessive sleepiness, dream-like behavior while awake, and a sudden loss of muscle tone.
  • Parasomnia: Parasomnias include sleepwaking, night terrors, and confusional awakenings.
  • Circadian rhythm disorders: Circadian rhythm disorders describe a disruption to an individual’s internal body clock causing you to sleep at irregular times.
  • Periodic limb movement disorder: With Periodic limb movement disorder, there is frequent twitching or movements of the legs or feet during sleep. This can lead to daytime sleepiness because of the interruption to sleep.

Successful Sleep:

Making a commitment to getting the right amount of quality sleep can help you stay focused on your goals.

Sleep can also help you have the energy and motivation needed to create the healthy lifestyle you desire. Here are five tips that can help you keep your new resolution to sleep better:

  1. Keep a sleep journal for a week. Take care to note what time you go to sleep and what time you wake up including any time during the night you wake up. Write down what activities you do before sleeping. Also keep track of any snoring or restless sleeping. Keeping track of your sleeping patterns can help alert you to a possible sleep disorder that needs to be evaluated and treated by a certified sleep physician.
  2. Set a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at a similar time every day can help your body know when it is time to relax and when it is time to get moving.
  3. Create a sleep-friendly environment. Keeping your room free from distractions, clutter, and electronics can help you feel more relaxed and help you drift off easier.
  4. Get the right mattress and pillow. A comfortable bed will allow you to go to sleep without discomfort.
  5. Change your nightly routine. The activities you choose before bed can make it harder to fall asleep. Cut out busy work and electronic use right before bed. Instead, focus on relaxing by reading a book or taking a bubble bath.

 If you are worried about your sleep, contact the Alaska Sleep Clinic to help you evaluate your sleep patterns and symptoms. Don’t let another sleepless night pass by this year. Call Alaska Sleep Clinic today for your free consultation.

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