It’s a new year and many people set resolutions to eat well and exercise to improve their health. Yet, few people focus on sleep, which is an essential component of better health and just as important as nutrition and exercise.
Poor sleep negatively impacts your hormones, mood, and brain function. It can also lead to weight gain and increase risk for disease and infection. Regrettably, four out of five people say they suffer from sleep problems at least once per week and wake up feeling exhausted.
How much sleep do you need?
Age, genetics, lifestyle and environment all play a role, but most scientific studies show that people who sleep seven hours a night are healthier and live longer.
Here are some tips to help you get your beauty sleep.
Increase bright light exposure during the day and reduce blue light (TV, Smartphone, Computer, etc.) exposure during the evening. This will help your body keep its natural time-keeping clock known as the circadian rhythm.
Go to bed at the same time every night. Wake up at the same time every morning and don’t sleep in on the weekends. Keep a set schedule for other activities, such as meals, exercise, hobbies and other activities to keep your body in sync.
Workout in the morning instead of in the evening. Strenuous exercise at night can leave your heart rate elevated, while boosting adrenaline and epinephrine, which are hormones that increase alertness.
Make your bedroom peaceful and relaxing. Dim the lights, use calming candles or essential oils, blackout the curtains and minimize external noise. Don’t use your bed for watching TV, going on the computer, eating or drinking. Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or below, as studies show that increased body and bedroom temperature can decrease sleep quality and increase wakefulness.
Do not eat heavy meals close to bedtime. Avoid caffeine after 2pm because it can stay elevated in your blood stream for 8-10 hours. Do not drink alcohol, as it decreases HGH, which plays a critical role in your circadian rhythm, resulting in disrupted sleep patterns.
6. No naps
Sleeping during the daytime can confuse your internal clock and make it difficult to sleep at night.
L-theanine: An amino acid that promotes relaxation.
Tart Cherry Juice: Contains melatonin, which is a sleep hormone that tells your brain it’s time to sleep.
Magnesium: A mineral that improves relaxation and sleep quality.
Valerian Root: An herb that reduces anxiety and improves sleep quality.
Lavender: A plant oil that has a soothing and relaxing fragrance.
Take a hot bath or shower to help your body relax. Muscle Wash is made with essential oils like Sweet Orange, Lavender and Cedarwood that will soothe your mind and body. Try meditation or yoga before bed to clear your mind.