Site created by Wellzesta (Copyright 2024) | Wellzesta is based in Charlotte, North Carolina and works with organizations across the United States.
People often underestimate the effect of a good night’s sleep. Getting consistent high-quality sleep is just as important as a healthy diet and exercise and provides just as many benefits.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that sleep is essential in maintaining optimal cognitive function. Sleep helps enhance learning ability and problem-solving skills, as well as reinforce creativity, focus, and decision-making skills.
Insufficient sleep can also impact emotional and physical well-being. Sleep deprivation can increase irritability and fatigue and potentially lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. The American Heart Association has connected poor quality sleep with cardiovascular plaque buildup, high blood pressure, and increased cholesterol levels.
The importance of high-quality sleep is immeasurable on our overall health and well-being. Here are a few tips on how to get a good night’s sleep:
Get as much time outside as you can
Natural light and exposure to the outdoors can help regulate your circadian rhythm. Bright light exposure has been shown to increase the quality of sleep and duration in people with insomnia and decrease the amount of time trying to fall asleep by 83%.
While light exposure holds its benefits, including exercise in your time outside can boost natural sleep hormones like melatonin and encourage better sleep. Don’t exercise too close to bedtime, though, as it can stimulate you and make it difficult to fall asleep.
Set a sleep schedule and stick to it
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (including weekends) may sound like a challenge, but it is essential in maintaining your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Your circadian rhythm is naturally aligned with the sunrise and sunset, and consistently following a sleep schedule makes it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning, leading to improved long-term sleep quality.
Curating a sleep routine can also make it easier to get to sleep and stay asleep. Every night before bed, do the same calming routine (take a bath, read a book, listen to music) to reinforce habits and make it simpler to get consistent quality sleep.
Manage your stress
Everyone’s most likely experienced stress stealing quality sleep away from them. In more extreme cases, stress can keep some individuals awake for hours, resulting in sleep loss and triggering our body’s stress response system. This leads to a cycle of stress-induced insomnia that can be harmful to your health in the long run.
Try getting a few of your worries out of your head and onto paper before bed by jotting them down. Listening to guided meditations or breathing exercises can also help.
Create a calming sleep environment
Various studies state that external noise, temperature, and light exposure can interfere with quality sleep. Try to keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. Think about getting some blackout shades and a noise machine to decrease the amount of light and noise in your room.
Your bed should also be a stimulus for sleep, not wakefulness. If you do work in or around your bed, watch late-night TV, or scroll on your phone, your brain will start to associate your bed with wakefulness and make it harder to fall asleep.
Try pink noise
Some people have white noise machines to block out any background noise when they are sleeping. White noise and pink noise both contain all frequencies that the human ear can hear, but pink noise is focused at a lower frequency, making it deeper than white noise. Examples of white noise are radio static, ventilation systems, and TV. Pink noise is the sound of rain, rustling leaves, or crashing waves.
Wellzesta is committed to providing resources for improved quality sleep through daily wellness content in the form of articles and videos. Wellzesta Life also encourages users to maintain healthy exercise goals that allow for improved sleep through our goal-setting technology.
Click here to learn more about how Wellzesta can help your community.