For some, a good night of sleep comes naturally. For others, sleep can be a constant battle, but all of us struggle with sleep at one time or another.
Sleep is an important time for your body to recover from the day and prepare for the next. It’s recommended to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Here’s some “secrets” to a good night’s sleep:
- Get outside and get some exercise. Even a short walk around your neighborhood can be a great way to work in some easy exercise on your lunch break, after work, or after dinner. The fresh air and exercise helps our stress levels too, which can be a contributor to poor sleep.
- Cut out nicotine, caffeine, and other stimulants at least 4-6 hours before bed time to allow your body plenty of time to start winding down.
- Find a healthy night time routine. Avoid tv, phones, computers, and other screens 1-2 hours before bed. The light from screens is stimulating to the brain. Try some relaxing activities before bed like taking a hot bath, reading, or meditating.
- Try to keep the same sleep schedule. Your body’s sleep-wake schedule is regulated by your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s internal clock. With a consistent schedule, your body learns the appropriate time to get sleepy at night and when to start waking up for the day. Even if you’re struggling to sleep, make a consistent effort to get into and out of bed around the same times everyday.
- Try melatonin or magnesium. Melatonin is a hormone naturally released in the body to signal time for sleep. The release of melatonin is triggered by exposure to darkness, so the use of bright electronics can disrupt this signaling. Magnesium is one of my favorite supplements for its calming effects on the body, making it a great night time supplement to help calm the body and mind. I like using Benesom from Metagenics because it has melatonin as well as magnesium.
- And of course, get acupuncture! Acupuncture is super calming to the nervous system allowing it to help calm stress and anxiety levels as well as addressing any other issues that may be going on in your body.
With these simple “secrets,” you’ll be on your way to a better night’s sleep. Remember sometimes it takes time to create new habits in the body, so stay consistent and be patient!