The newsLINK Group - Sleep

Editorial Library Category: Medical Topics: Improving Sleep Title: Sleep Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Do you want to improve your life? If you are like most people, the easiest way to do that is to improve the amount and quality of the sleep you get every day. Editorial: Sleep 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Do you want to improve your life? If you are like most people, the easiest way to do that is to improve the amount and quality of the sleep you get every day. Not getting enough sleep can make it hard for you to function, never mind function well, and it can also make you sick if you deprive yourself of sleep too much. What diseases are most likely to afflict those who are deprived of sleep? Deprivation can cause your immune system to stop working correctly. It can also contribute to cancer, depression, diabetes, memory loss, and obesity. Why does a lack of sleep make you sick? To answer that question, first you need to understand what a good night’s sleep can do for you. Our bodies need to go through regular waking and sleeping cycles in order to function at their best. Sleeping boosts hormone function and protects you from getting sick. It heals muscles, organs, and tissue. Even your mind needs sleep. What if you just don’t get enough sleep and you feel tired the next day? Make sure you don’t drive until you feel alert and rested. Taking a 10 to 20-minute nap can make a large difference. Do you need to drive a long distance? Stop every two hours to stretch and walk around, and when it gets late, check into a motel for some sleep. Sleeping well is the one thing you can do that will improve every aspect of your life: emotional, mental, and physical. But how, exactly, can you make sure you get the quality sleep you need? There are ways to make the process easier. Unless you sleep alone, changes to your sleeping habits or your bedroom will affect other people. Good communication is important whenever you think you need to make a major change. Find ways to keep both of you happy. Change Your Mind Do you look forward to going to bed every night? Or do you see it as a chore? People who think of sleep as a welcome vacation from the day’s problems are more likely to look forward to climbing into bed at the end of the day. People who dislike surrendering themselves to sleep, on the other hand, are more likely to put it off as long as possible. Choose to frame sleep in your mind as something wonderful, not something you grudge doing. Consider Health Issues Your health definitely affects your ability to sleep. The most obvious way to improve your health is by eating right. If you snore, you might have problems with sleep apnea; see what you can do to reduce it or prevent it. House plants are a great way to improve the air in your home. Massages can relax you and improve your health. What else could you consider doing to improve your health? Here are two you may not have considered before. Determine whether you have a magnesium deficiency. Check into grounding (also called earthing). Watch Your Diet Eat breakfast. Choose foods with lots of protein, such as whole-grain toast with salmon and avocado, Greek yogurt with berries and chia seeds, and some combination of toast and eggs. Frittatas can be a particularly good choice. Avoid sugary breakfasts or breakfasts based on starches, such as bagels, sweet cereals, pancakes, and fruit smoothies. Try not to eat or drink anything with caffeine in it after 2 p.m. That allows your body time to get the caffeine out of your body before you go to bed. If your body is sensitive to caffeine, then avoiding caffeine completely will make it easier for you to sleep when it is time to sleep. Another thing to avoid is drinking a regular evening cocktail. Sure, you’ll fall asleep faster, but you will also wake up more, you won’t get as much REM sleep, which is the kind you need the most, and the next day you will be sleepier than you would have been without the cocktail.