We’ve posted before on the importance of sleep when it comes to our physical and mental health. In recent years, researchers have speculated that lack of adequate rest not only worsens diabetic symptoms, but also makes the disease more likely to occur in the first place. Aside from diabetes, poor sleep is thought be a risk factor in other serious health problems such as heart disease, mental illness, stroke and obesity. Understandably, getting a good night’s rest can be difficult for many of us–for a variety of reasons. In today’s post, we’ll provide a few simple tips that can greatly enhance one’s sleep quality if practiced consistently.
- Avoid electronics before bedtime: Researchers now know that the screen light given off by phones, tvs and computer monitors prevents the release of sleep producing hormones located in the brain. Instead of staring at electronic devices before bed, try reading books, magazines, newspapers, or comics–all of which will induce sleep rather than prevent it.
- Don’t drink caffeine in the evening: Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soda and some teas act as a stimulant which make it harder to fall asleep. If you need to drink something before bedtime, stick to water or milk.
- Watch what you eat, and how late you eat it: Foods high in saturated fat are known to disturb sleep cycles. Spicy foods, especially if they are high in protein, disrupt digestion which make it harder to adequately rest. In general, it is best to avoid eating right before you go to bed.
- Make sure not to exercise too late: Night time physical activity can be refreshing, however keep in mind that it might also make it more difficult to fall asleep. If possible, it is always a good idea to get your exercise done in the morning.
- Be cautious about napping: Napping before 5pm for an hour or less can actually be beneficial. However, doing so later in the evening or for too long can make it harder to fall asleep later.
- Establish a consistent schedule: Even if you do get enough hours of rest, not having a consistent sleep schedule can still leave one tired when they wake up. Try to establish set times for both when you decide to sleep and when you decide to wake up.
While the act of sleeping may seem easy, getting adequate rest can actually be quite complicated. These simple steps can go a long way in ensuring that your time spent in bed is efficient as possible. Also keep in mind that it is never a bad idea to speak with your doctor about any sleeping problems you may have. In most cases, they can provide valuable suggestions, which will help you rest easier at night.