May is Better Sleep Month and we are bringing awareness to the benefits of better sleep and how getting a sufficient amount is a major component to living a healthy lifestyle. There are many negative side effects when an individual doesn’t receive enough. Sleep deprivation can cause mood swings, stress, body weakness, and fatigue. The list of problems goes on and on. If you find yourself in this category you’re probably wondering what can help you achieve the recommended 8 hours of quality slumber suggested by physicians.
Sleeping on a Quality Mattress
It’s essential to make sure you’re sleeping on a quality mattress that provides durability, support, and comfort. A broken down or worn mattress can keep you tossing and turning all night. A mattress riddled with body indentations will not provide the necessary support for a good night’s sleep. It’s also important to find the correct firmness for your body. Bodies change over time which can cause a mattress that used to be comfortable to turn into something far from it. There also needs to be a good boxspring/foundation underneath the mattress. A failing or broken down boxspring/foundation can cause the mattress to fail and ultimately provide discomfort to the consumer.
Healthy Eating Habits
A well-rounded diet is essential to a good night’s sleep. It’s important to stay away from alcohol, beverages loaded with caffeine, and foods that cause acid reflux. Alcohol may seem to allow consumers to fall asleep quicker; however it can disrupt the second half of the night. It also can reduce rapid eye moment which allows individuals to dream. This reduction in REM sleep can cause an individual to wake up feeling drowsy the next morning.
Caffeinated beverages are also a big disrupter of a good night’s sleep. Caffeine is said to stay in your system for up to six hours. An individual can fall asleep under the influence of caffeine, but they will still probably miss out on the important required deep sleep. Drinking many caffeinated beverages can also start a vicious cycle of needing caffeinated drinks to get through the day. This is a bad habit because many individuals rely on caffeine instead of a good night’ sleep.
Acid Reflux is another culprit disturbing a good night’s rest. Fatty, spicy, and acidic foods are the biggest and some of the worst foods when it comes to acid reflux. Health Magazine noted that chocolate, soda, fried food, alcohol, high-fat dairy products, high-fat meals, and caffeine should be avoided by those suffering from acid reflux. If you’re dealing with acid reflux, it’s always best to consult with your doctor regarding the best steps to take to control the problem.
Exercise and Sleep
Always consult with your doctor before starting an exercise routine. Exercise not only builds strong bones and healthy bodies but it can also help improve sleep. However, there are many factors that can determine how exercise and sleep correlate. The intensity of the workout and the time of the workout can play important roles.
First and foremost, exercising can boost energy. This is a more natural, heathier alternative to drinking caffeinated beverages. This will allow an individual to cut down on their need for coffee or energy drinks to get through the day. Scientists have noted that in some cases exercise has been able to reduce stress and anxiety in some individuals. This may allow for better sleep as the mind will be able to focus solely on sleep and not the constant stressors that are plaguing a good night’s slumber.
Most scientists agree that exercising right before bed isn’t the best idea. It’s recommended that an afternoon to early evening trip to the gym is ideal. This will give the body time to recover from a hard workout and rest before bed.