The benefits of a good night sleep are endless! A lot of research has been released in the last few years showing that good quality sleep is essential for a healthy immune system, strong cognitive function, hormone balance, sustained energy levels, and much more. For some of us getting a good night's sleep is not that easy and can be down right frustrating. Here are some tips that are simple and VERY effective:
1. Sleep In A Dark Room: Melatonin is a hormone that's produced naturally when the sun goes down, this hormone makes us feel relaxed and ready to begin sleeping. The production of melatonin begins with the eyes, our eyes see the sun going away and it signals the brain to produce melatonin. If our room is too bright it confuses our brain and you may have a lack of melatonin production. A simple solution is to darken your bedroom by making sure shades don't allow any kind of light in, get rid of night lights, and dim alarm clocks.
2. Limit or Omit Alcohol Consumption: We've all been there, we had a few too many drinks, and wake up feeling like crap. Not only is it dehydration, but it's also because alcohol effects the quality of our sleep. Even a few drinks can have a negative impact on the quality of your sleep. Alcohol can assist you with falling asleep faster, but once you're asleep it reduces the amount of time you're in REM sleep (restorative), robbing you of your needed Zzzzs.
3. Skip The Afternoon Coffee Break: The effects of coffee can last for 8-14 hours, which means if you have an afternoon coffee around 2 or 3pm it could be cramping your style when you try to hit the hay. Try to consume caffeinated beverages before 12pm and see if you notice a difference in your sleep. If you really need the afternoon pick-me-up try something with a little less caffeine such as green or white tea.
4. Try Magnesium: Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body and it's responsible for more than 300 functions, one of them being muscle relaxation. When we are deficient in magnesium our bodies can feel stressed and muscles can feel tight and contracted. Magnesium helps relax the muscles and help us feel calm. Magnesium can be depleted from stress, processed foods, alcohol and caffeine consumption, and certain medications (birth control pills and certain heart medications to name a few). Supplemental magnesium can really help bring levels back to normal and improve your quality of sleep. Not all magnesium supplements are the same and Natural Calm is one of my favorites. It tastes good and is really effective.