According to the American Sleep Association, there are 50 to 70 million adults in the U.S. who have a sleep disorder. A lack of sleep doesn’t mean you’ll just feel tired or grumpy the next day. Missing out on that all-important seven or eight hours of sleep on a regular basis can result in numerous health issues, from depression and weight gain, to a weaker immune system and a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes or heart disease, on top of all those mental effects such a memory problems and difficulty focusing.
The good news is that there are ways to get a good night’s rest without having to turn to sleeping pills.
Aim to Keep a Regular, Consistent Sleep Schedule
One of the best things you can do to ensure a better night’s rest is to keep a consistent sleep schedule. Create a schedule that you can stick to every day, even when you don’t have to wake up early to go to work. Ideally, you should wake up and go to bed at the same time no matter what day of the week it is.
Limit or Avoid Caffeine
Everyone has a different body chemistry, and while some people can drink caffeinated beverages late into the afternoon or even at night without it negatively affecting sleep, others are greatly affected. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try to limit yourself to a maximum of two cups of coffee before noon, and after that, choose caffeine-free options like herbal tea or water. There are some herbal teas that may even encourage a better night’s rest, like Sleepy Time by Celestial Seasonings.
Eating the Right Foods
Going to bed when you’re hungry can keep you from falling asleep, but don’t consume foods like chocolate, which has caffeine, or fatty foods. Fatty foods like cheese-laden pizza or any heavy, greasy food just before bed can result in discomfort that can cause you to wake frequently during the night or make it difficult to fall asleep in the first place. Be sure that you have some light, nutritious snacks to ease hunger pangs at night – if you’re short on time consider healthy snack delivery so that you’ll always have good choices on hand.
Add a Few Drops of Lavender Essential Oil to Your Pillow
Lavender, and its essential oil, has been used for centuries to aid sleep. Simply sprinkle a few drops on your pillow, or on a tissue that’s placed under your pill to promote a more relaxed state of mind conducive to quality rest.
Block Out Light and Noise
If you’re a light sleeper, a dark, quiet room is a must. With so many little lights on multiple tech gadgets most of us have these days as well as lights coming in from the street and so on, that can be difficult to achieve. An eye mask can eliminate that problem – they’re inexpensive and can make a significant difference in how well you sleep. With total darkness, the production of melatonin is more easily triggered in the brain, a hormone that helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep too. If noise is an issue, you may want to wear earplugs to help block it out.