How to Get Better Sleep

Sleep — it’s something everyone needs and wants. We have to have it but everyone’s having trouble getting it these days. Experts agree that 8.5 hours to 9. hours is the optimal amount of sleep adults should try to obtain every night. Yet folks in North America, on average, now get a little over 6 hours. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics reveal that this is a 20-year trend that is increasing over time.
Unfortunately sleep loss is turning into more than just a nighttime problem. Its impact can extend far into the day, affecting us in many ways:

Mentally— not getting enough sleep can increase your risk for depression, and make you irritable and cranky.

Physically — Lack of sleep has been linked to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, sleep deprivation may account for as many as 100,000 auto accidents each year in the United States. More than 50% of Americans reported driving while drowsy, and about 25% had actually dozed off at the wheel.

Financially — According to a February 9, 2006, ABC News article, sleep loss led to $16 billion in annual health-care costs and $50 billion in lost
productivity.
Sleep is the cornerstone of any good wellness program. Without it, weight-management, stress management and basic quality of life can not be achieved.

So ask yourself… How have you been sleeping lately?

A strategy for getting the sleep we need and staying awake during the day is crucial in a culture that demands more and more of our time. Some methods are more popular than others.

Napping — Permission to Nap! Naps have been shown to benefit almost every aspect of human wellness. The advantages include better heart functioning, hormonal maintenance and cell repair. Naps help increase productivity, improve coordinated motor skills, and enhance our mood and lower stress.

EMF (bad energy from electrical lines, wiring etc), Caffeine, Cell phones, Computers, and other devices can interrupt our sleep cycles.

Medication — in 2005, 42 million sleeping pill prescriptions were filled, and annual sales are expected to grow to $3.8 billion in the near future. While there are countless over-the-counter remedies selling at a record pace, it’s the long-lasting prescriptions — especially those labeled safe to take for months at a time — that millions are turning to.
Dangers have been linked to sleeping pills, and doctors worry about significant side effects including next-day “hangovers,” sleepwalking, amnesia, addiction, and, more recently, binge eating while asleep! Some users claim to have gained more than 100 pounds that way.

To ensure you get the best night’s sleep, try some of the following tips:

De-stress — Work out issues during the day before you turn out the lights.

Keep a journal — Keeping tabs on your sleeping time may reveal more than you think. Once you figure out a pattern, you will know how to avoid endless tossing and turning.

Exercise or take a bath — Do these three or four hours before bedtime. Heating up the body will allow it to wind down slowly and ensure that you catch some Zs later.

Plan worry time — Get your to-do list on paper so your mind is clear and you’re not doing a mental checklist of errands while in bed.

Find the right bedtime — Train your body with a regular sleep schedule.

Get the right mattress and sleep technology — sleeping on a mattress that provides adequate support is key to a good night’s sleep.

Weight management: Did you know that according to researchers from the University of Chicago and Stanford University, lack of sleep causes changes in hormones that result in weight gain? In two separate studies, scientists found that hormone levels can be affected by poor sleep, ultimately increasing appetite. Both studies tested participants for levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, and ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger. After just two nights of poor sleep, leptin levels dropped and levels of ghrelin rose.
Results also showed that individuals who sleep less than eight hours a night on average are heavier than those who get a full-night’s rest.

Your comments, feedback and perspectives for better sleep are encouraged and always invited.
For a free phone consult contact Gregg at Solution Innovators 250-380-0702 email SolutionInnovators@shaw.ca. Learn more about sleep technology or consider counselling for better sleep.

This article first appeared in the July’17 issue of the Herbal Collective.
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