The following article is a guest post by Sheila Olson from FitSheila.com.
Better sleep can be hard to come by these days for many people; even when we’re able to suss out the issue that prevents us from getting good rest — be it stress, environment, or anxiety — it can be difficult to make changes to your routine or lifestyle to help correct the problem. When you’re tired all the time, your mental and physical health suffers, leaving you unable to get a hold on your responsibilities or to cope with all the things life throws at you on a daily basis. This can, in turn, lead to depression or even more stress. It’s a vicious cycle that will keep you from feeling your best, but fortunately, there are things you can do to get better sleep, both in quantity and quality.
Not only can good rest help you feel better, it can help you look better. When you get a full eight hours, you may notice that your skin and hair look healthier, or you may be better able to maintain a healthy weight. This is because when your body is deprived of sleep, it releases a stress hormone called cortisol, which can cause inflammation and other skin-related issues. Good rest can also positively affect your metabolism, allowing you to keep your weight at a healthy number.
Here are just a few ways you can ensure a good night’s sleep.
Create the Right Environment
Good, deep sleep can be hard to come by if your environment is stressful or not comfortable enough, so make sure your bedroom is a sensory haven. A cool, dark room with soft bedding will go a long way toward helping you relax and stay asleep longer. You can also remove technologysuch as televisions and laptops; these emit blue lightthat can leave you wide awake or interrupt your sleep when used too close to bedtime. Close doors and windows and use candlelight when possible for a relaxing vibe that will help you unwind at the end of the day.
Eat the Right Foods
There are certain foods that are better for your metabolism than others, and some that will help your immune system and prevent illness or disease. Then there are foods that will actually help you sleep better, such as turkey, almonds, cherries, and bananas. These are also pretty healthy foods, which means you can add them to your diet without worrying about their nutritional value. Just as important are the foods you should stay away fromjust before bed, such as red meat and chocolate; these will raise your body temperature and flood your system with caffeine, respectively, so save them for the daytime hours.
Keep Your Gut Healthy
Gut health and mental health are closely linked, and the way you sleep affects it all. When your microbiome is out of balance, you may be at a higher risk for a mental health or mood disorder, which can affect your emotions, ability to cope with stress, and ability to fight of symptoms of depression. If you’ve ever missed out on a lot of sleep and then dealt with an upset stomach or diarrhea, you’ll understand just how much a good night of rest can help you feel good.
When you get adequate rest, you have more energy, but it also helps you lookand feel younger. As we age, it gets harder and harder to do the things we once loved, but when your body is able to fully recharge every night, you’ll feel the effects immediately and will see them on the outside, as well. Consider using an air purifierin your bedroom; this will help boost the air quality in your home for more restful sleep and reduced skin and breathing problems.
Better sleep for a better you may sound too good to be true, but it’s actually very attainable if you know how to start. Create a bedtime routine that will help you relax and stay on a schedule; this will get you into a healthy habit that you can keep for years to come.