Are you Getting Enough Sleep?
It seems like there is nothing more prevalent amongst friends than a lack of sleep. With the recent time change it’s no surprise that lack of sleep is one of the primary causes of injury! So are you getting enough ZZZ’s? According to the National Sleep Foundation the average adult needs about 7-9 hours of sleep while a teenager needs around 8-12 hours of sleep.
Why is Sleep Important?
Sleep is crucial for brain function! A good night’s rest has been proven to aid with concentration, focus, problem solving skills and memory. In addition to improvement in analytical skills, sleeping well affects hormones produced in the brain that are linked to happiness. Insomnia is associated with depression and anxiety in addition to increasing your risk of obesity, Type II diabetes and stroke. For the current and upcoming star athletes, lack of sleep has also been linked to increased risk of injury.
Sleep is not only good for your brain health, but also your immune system. With the changing seasons, kids in school, and the common cold rest is very important. According to a 2009 article published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal, people who slept less than hours of sleep were close to 3 times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept 8 hours or more.
Tips to Get a Good Night’s Rest?
Bye Bye Screen Time: In the age of computers, phones, and tablets, it is common for us to bring those into the bedroom, but it might be hurting our abilities to get a good night’s rest. Our brains produce Melatonin which triggers us to get relaxed, but light exposure including blue light from LED screens, can reduce production. Try a blue light filter if viewing electronics before bed. It is recommended that the use of screens should be limited to at least 30-60 min prior to bedtime.
Exercise!: There is a huge connection between exercise and the improvement in sleep duration and quality. It is recommended that 30-60 minutes of exercise or play-time can drastically improve your sleep. Plus a good night’s rest will improve athletic performance and has actually been shown to reduce the risk of suffering an injury.
Make a Bedtime Routine: Both children and adults can benefit from a bedtime routine. Whether it be showering, brushing teeth, storytime/reading or laying out clothes for the next day. A consistent bedtime routine allows your body to wind down from the day and improve sleep quality.
Limit Caffeine and Sugar Intake: Be smart about what you or your kids eat before bed. Pop, energy drinks, and food or drink with high amounts of sugar will make it harder to fall asleep. It also makes it harder for your body falls into the deeper stages of shut-eye. Try some sleepy time tea or Chamomile to help you sleep faster.
Best Natural Sleep Aids
Sleep aids can be tough. You want the extra help going to sleep but you really don’t want to feel groggy in the morning. You also don’t want to take anything that has harmful chemicals or anything could cause more problems down the road. There are our favorite natural aids that also don’t make you groggy.
Try an Essential Oil Diffuser to Improve Sleeping Quality
I know what you are thinking, “really, a diffuser?” I wasn’t a believer either until my wife got one because she kept waking in the middle of the during pregnancy and we haven’t stopped using it since. It’s an easy and effective way for those that have trouble getting to sleep and remaining asleep without taking any medication. A diffuser uses natural oils and turns them into a mist to help promote relaxation and shut eye. These are our favorite diffusers.
Try a White Noise Machine if you Can’t Fall Asleep
White Noise Machines are designed to make a light background noise to help soothe you into relaxation and eventually into a slumber. We use them all the time for baby’s but someone discard the notion that they can be used for Adults or Teenagers. Some people claim they get a better rest with a fan on which is another example of white noise. Most machines have multiple settings, a variety of different soothing sounds, and an auto shut off timer. Our favorite white noise machine is the Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Sound Machine.
Getting enough ZZZ’s are incredibly important for your overall health and happiness.
Make sleep a prior in your home with easy lifestyle modifications.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is for educational purposes only. This is not a substitute for a medical appointment. Please refer to your physician before starting any exercise program.