Rest Easy Tonight! Our Top 8 Tips for a Restful Night's Sleep

Rest easy tonight!

What’s more frustrating than a sleepless night? Tired of tossing and turning, wishing you could just fall back asleep? Here at The Vanguard Clinic, we understand the importance of a restful night’s sleep. Lack of sleep has several consequences, including poor memory/cognition, weight-gain, irritability/poor mood, increased stress and risk of hypertension, poor immune function, and much more.

We’re going to give you some tips so you can rest a little easier tonight.

#1 Limit Screen Time. Bright lights from TV’s, tablets, computers, and cellphones all have the potential to throw off the natural circadian rhythm, making it nearly impossible for your body to maintain a healthy sleep cycle. In general, these bright lights tend to increase alertness. That’s not the only problem! Many of the shows you watch and the stories you read can work to increase adrenaline, due to the dramatic or stressful nature of the content. I mean, who doesn’t like a suspenseful thriller or politically charged social media posts? Put the screens down and rest easy tonight!

#2 Sleep in a Dark, Cool, Quiet Room. It’s important to eliminate as much light and sound as possible. If you’re unable to eliminate these, invest in a good sleep mask or some ear plugs. Research has also found that people sleep better in a slightly cooler environment. Try using a fan or turning down the thermostat a couple degrees prior to bedtime.

#3 Avoid Certain Foods/Drinks. Certain foods and drinks can prevent the body from getting a restful night’s sleep.  Foods and drinks containing caffeine should be avoided for several hours before bedtime.  These include teas, coffees, chocolate, and more.  You should also be careful to avoid consuming alcohol before bed.  Alcohol can disrupt the circadian rhythm, preventing you from getting REM sleep, which is the most restorative type of sleep. Both caffeine and alcohol can leave you waking several times through the night and can also cause the need for extra bathroom trips.

#4 Aromatherapy. Invest in a diffuser and try some lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil is known for its relaxing and calming properties. When diffused into the air, it’s been shown to help improve sleep.

#5 Exercise. Be sure to get some sort of daily exercise, even if it’s just a light exercise. This helps to tire the body and combat stress. Be sure that you are not exercising right before bed! It’s best to stop exercising several hours before you lay down at night.

#6 Create a Routine.  Going to bed and waking at the same time each day can help you to get a better night’s sleep. Try to carry this habit over to the weekends as well. This can be very beneficial for establishing your body’s natural circadian rhythm.

#7 Limit your Bed to Sleeping. If you’re like most people, you like to watch TV, play on your phone, or even get some work done from the comfort of your own bed.  However, studies are finding that these patterns are preventing you from getting a restful night’s sleep. Make it a habit to do your reading, work, and other activities in a separate place.

#8 Supplements.  Lastly, if you’ve made the following changes but still aren’t able to sleep, try supplementing with Melatonin. Melatonin is a natural and effective alternative to prescription sleeping medication. Be sure to check with your doctor before adding new supplements to your dietary routine.

Thanks for reading! Check our blog regularly for more health tips.

Sarah Stanton

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