Do you toss and turn throughout the night? Are you unable to shut your brain off at night? Do you wake up feeling restless? If this is you, you are not alone. Did you know that approximately 40% of Canadians will suffer from a sleep disorder in their lifetime? Everyone knows that life gets busy between work, family, and social responsibilities, there is little time left in any given day to rest. What everyone doesn’t know, is that a lack of sleep over a long period of time can result in serious health risks, such as obesity and heart problems. In the 2015 CBC article, Sleep disorders will affect 40% of Canadians, pose serious health risks, Dr. Frank Ryan addresses this issue the best with stating, “The problem is over time, you incur a sleep debt which you can never fully repay.”
In order to try to payback some of that lost sleep, consider the following tips:
- Establish a routine – Keeping up with a daily bedtime and wake up schedule will help cycle your bodily functions and energy levels throughout the day.
- Magnesium supplements – Help to balance the nervous system, which helps your body calm down and unwind after a long day.
- Chamomile tea – has an increased level of glycine, which is a chemical that relaxes muscles and acts like a mind tranquilizer.
- Exercise regularly – Try not to exercise any later than 4 hours before bed. The extra added movement during your day will help to tire out your mind and muscles. Your body will need and crave sleep to refuel and reenergize for tomorrow.
- Limit your caffeine intake to mornings and early afternoons – The long-lasting effects of caffeine range from person to person. To minimize the amount of caffeine lingering in your body during the evenings, try to follow a 2 pm cut-off time.
- Lavender oil/plant – Lavender has been shown to decrease one’s heart rate and blood pressure, which could potentially put you in a more relaxed state. Studies show that those who sniff lavender before bed had a more deep sleep and felt more vigorous in the morning.
- Open a window – Yes, it can be as simple as that. Fresh air produces an almost sedative effect on the body and relaxes the mind.
- Avoid naps – While naps can reenergize your afternoon, they take away from the extra sleep your body needs at night, which can leave you restlessly lying awake.
- Breathing exercises – Deep breathing helps to relax the mind and de-stress. Focusing on your breathing will help you focus less on the thoughts circling in your head.
- Stay hydrated – Water is essential for almost all bodily functions, especially brain function. While sleeping, your brain remains active by sorting through the day’s activities and working out stress that you may have. If your body is dehydrated, your brain might not function the same, and therefore you will not be able to wake up feeling rejuvenated and well-rested.
Alyssa Jung (2017). 16 Foods That Help You Sleep. Retrieved from: http://www.rd.com/health/beauty/foods-that-help-you-sleep/
Back to Bed (2013). How Water Helps You Sleep Better. Retrieved from: http://www.backtobed.com/sleep/how-more-water-helps-you-sleep-better.aspx
CBC News (2015). Sleep disorders will affect 40% of Canadians, pose serious health risks. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/sleep-disorder-ubc-1.3294306
Kerry Bajaj (2013). What is magnesium? It’s a miracle mineral! Retrieved from: https://www.bewell.com/blog/what-is-magnesium-it%E2%80%99s-a-miracle-mineral/
National Sleep Foundation (2017). What you breathe while you sleep can affect how you feel the next day. Retrieved from: https://sleepfoundation.org/bedroom/smell.php