Good sleep is a major component of good health. However, there are many adults who don't get the sleep that they need on a regular basis. From the stress of a busy workday to feeling distracted at night when it is time to go to bed, there can be many reasons why some struggle to get the amount of rest that they need each night.
Even though it can be difficult to get proper sleep at times, the reality is that it isn't impossible to improve your sleep quality or quantity. No matter how much you struggle to get sleep, the good news is that there are many natural ways that you can begin to build better habits, and as a result get better sleep. If you are seeking some tips that will help you get the rest that you need to tackle each day, then here are some things to consider.
Consider Your Diet
If you don't sleep well and find yourself struggling to feel energized at work or school, then it can be a good idea to consider the diet that you eat. Whether you work with restaurant equipment or heavy machinery, making sure that you are alert on the job is important.
What many don't realize is that their diet can have a significant and direct impact on the quality of sleep that they are able to get. When you eat a diet that is full of refined sugars and carbs, it can cause your blood sugar to spike and crash.
This means that you will tend to feel a burst of energy, and then feel exhausted later on. Eventually, this can cause you to feel tired when you should be wide awake, and wired when it is time to sleep. This can eventually disrupt your sleep cycles, and make it all the more difficult to nod off at night.
To avoid having your blood sugar spike and crash, it can be helpful to limit your intake of refined carbs and sugars. Additionally, if you are going to eat these foods it is best to eat them earlier in the day, and close to your bedtime.
If you truly want to improve your sleep quality, then it is important not only to reduce the number of harmful foods that you are eating but also to increase your intake of healthy ones, too. There are many foods that are great for supporting hormonal health, which can in turn help you to better regulate your sleep cycles. Some good foods for better sleep can include lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats.
Cut Out Harmful Beverages
While you are working on eating a better diet, you also need to be paying close attention to the beverages that you are drinking, too. This can matter when it comes to sugary drinks, but the most important ones to watch are those that are high in caffeine and alcoholic beverages.
A caffeinated drink like coffee or espresso can be great for getting you up and going when you have things to do in the mornings. However, this can cause problems at night when you need to sleep. Because caffeine is a nervous system stimulant, it can be effective for giving you a boost of energy, but that also means that it can keep you wired when you would rather not be.
If you don't want caffeine to interfere with your sleep cycles, then you need to be mindful of when you are consuming it. A drink early on in the day will most likely not cause sleep issues. However, drinking caffeine late at night, or even in the evening can make it difficult to sleep, because caffeine can stay active in your system for up to several hours after you have consumed it.
Another beverage that you need to be careful with is alcohol. Many may be able to fall asleep easily after drinking alcohol, but they may struggle to stay asleep after drinking. This is due to the fact that alcohol is a sleep cycle disruptor. What this means is that while you may be able to fall asleep after drinking, you may struggle to stay asleep.
This can lead to waking up frequently during the night and getting the sleep that isn't restorative. While minimal to moderate drinking may not cause many issues when it comes to sleep if you want to sleep deeply then large amounts of alcohol before bed is best avoided.
Work On Your Sleeping Environment
Another big factor in the quality of sleep that you are able to get is the environment that you have to sleep in. A cool, dark, and quiet environment is much more conducive to good sleep than one that is bright, hot, and noisy. Even though you may not always be able to avoid dealing with certain factors like noise or light, there are things you can do to help improve your sleeping environment.
If your bedroom tends to get hot at night, then lowering the thermostat before going to bed can be helpful. If you have a room that is full of light, then trying out room darkening curtains can be a good idea, as can using a sleep mask. For those that have to deal with lots of noise pollution where they live, noise-canceling panels can be beneficial. Additionally, earplugs can also be good for blocking out distracting noises at night.
Find Ways To Reduce Stress
Stress can be a big contributor to sleep issues. While many understand that stress has negative effects on their health, they may not realize just how much it can impact them, or that it can have a direct impact on their ability to sleep well at night.
When you experience stress, your body produces extra amounts of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are necessary for dealing with acute stress and stressful situations, but they can be harmful when you are trying to sleep or relax.
One popular way to help cut down your stress levels is to try mindfulness or meditation. Not only can meditation help calm your mind, but it can also relax your nervous system and make it easier to sleep, too. To get the best results, you should aim to meditate for about 20 minutes a day.
Some Last Thoughts
Good sleep is an important part of maintaining good health. That being said, it may not always be easy or possible to get the best quality sleep. The upside is that even though it may be a struggle at times, there are many simple ways you can start getting better sleep tonight.
Sleep is a vital factor in overall health. Adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but 30% report averaging less than six hours, according to the National Health Interview Survey.
- Chronic sleep deprivation causes depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses
- Fatigue is estimated to cost employers $136 billion a year in health-related lost productivity
- More than 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder
Americans receive little education on the importance of sleep, sleep disorders, and the consequences of fatigue, but industry leaders recently have been drawing attention to this issue. Employers, too, are in an ideal position to educate employees on how to avoid fatigue-related safety incidents. NSC supports science-based fatigue risk management systems in the workplace.
Alaska Sleep Clinic is here to help your employees be healthy and safe at work, whether it involves on the road work or not. Call us today to learn more.