The Power of Sleep
Since childhood our parents have encouraged us to sleep early and have naps during the day and have you wondered why? There are many reasons why we should do that and I will be talking about it in this article.
While our fast-paced society discourage breaks and taking some time to slow down, many researches have been done showing that a good rest is very important for our overall health and to recharge our batteries. If you regularly lose your sleep, feel lousy all day as a consequence, have the feeling as if you were drunk and can’t focus on what you are doing, you had better rethink about your sleeping habits and ways to improve it. Most of us have a very busy day and even if we go to bed early our minds still wonders about things we still have to do, problems, etc.
We know that sleep deprivation not only makes you feel tired but it can put you in a fatigue state, which can be dangerous for health causing accidents, experiencing bad moods, poor job performance and if you continue like this for many years it can lead to chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and also depression. It is also bad for your skin, that’s is why some people develop dark eye circles, puffiness, it lowers your complex pH level, affect the moisture level of your skin making age faster due to the poor collagen formation during sleep. Because your skin becomes imbalanced, it can lead to redness and breakouts also.
Many people turn into energy drinks such as Red Bull, coffee, high caffeine teas and other foods to get some energy to go through the day. The problem with this is that your body will be on high cortisol levels due to the stress you are putting your body through. When we are stressed and can’t sleep our bodies produce a lot of this hormone, which is very bad for our health, and it can accelerate aging. If you can’t have a good night of rest, try to take naps during the day if possible to control your cortisol levels and other hormones related to stress. But how long does the body need to rest in a nap to recover? A 20 minutes power nap can be very beneficial for the body and help you rebalance, but if a nap will make you not sleep at night, then you should avoid it. Some people feel better after a 10 minutes nap while others may need more than 20 minutes to rebalance.
Here are some benefits of power nap:
– It helps to balance hormones naturally
– Reduces the sluggish feeling in the afternoon
– Improves mental health helping focus
– Better physical performance
– It strengths the immune system
– Helps to stay alert
– Improves mood
– Reduces cortisol hormone level
– More likely to feel sharper
– Fights fatigue
– Reduces anxiety
If taking a nap during the day is out of the question, I suggest you go to bed an hour earlier than you usually do to unwind and relax your mind.
There are a few things that I do to fall asleep faster that I would like to share with you:
– Make a to do list for next day, so I can relax and not think about it while in bed.
– Read a book, preferably one that will not keep me awake for so long.
– Make myself a small cup of tea like chamomile before going to bed. A small cup avoids interrupting my sleep with visits to the bathroom.
– Use some essential oils to help me relax such as lavender and ylang ylang.
– I take melatonin sometimes to induce better sleep.
– Eat a banana before going to bed as it has a good amount of magnesium, which also helps me to sleep better.
– Wear comfortable clothes .
– Clear my mind by visualizing nice places.
– Exercise early and often makes me rebalance and I avoid working out before going to bed as exercises can increase cortisol levels. Training is important and it helps the body fight many diseases, which is why it’s better to do it during the day.
– Avoid all drinks with caffeine at night as it can keep me awake for hours.
– Do not take phone or any other devices such as tablets or computer to the bedroom, this can interrupt my sleep and induce to more anxiety.
– Make sure my bedroom is dark, cool and ventilated to guarantee quality sleep.
– I also recommend checking your pillows and mattress make sure you they are giving your head and body the rights support.
There are foods and supplements that can help you sleep better such as:
– Bananas: An excellent source of magnesium and potassium, which help to relax overstressed muscles. They also contain tryptophan, which convert to serotonin and melatonin, the brain’s key calming hormones.
– Oatmeal: Complex carbohydrates increases the availability of tryptophan in the bloodstream increasing the sleeping inducing effects.
– Yogurt and Milk: Contain tryptophan and calcium, which is effective in stress reduction and stabilization of nerve fibers, including those in the brain.
– Tea: Chamomile tea is very helpful and safe sleep aid, just make sure not to drink too many keep to avoid visits to the bathroom.
– Almonds: Contain magnesium, which promotes better sleep and relaxation and because they are a good source of protein it can help maintain s stable blood sugar level while sleeping, and help promote sleep by switching you from your alert adrenaline cycle to your rest-and-digest cyle.
– Collagen: Rich in protein, it promotes a better night of sleep and it helps weight control, especially when you take it before going to bed like Neocell’s Collagen products.
– Adaptogenic Blends: Such as Dream Dust by Moon Juice combats the effects of stress promoting a better and restful night of sleep.
– Natural Supplements: Sleep Thru by Wholefoods is good also as it has valerian root in its composition, which naturally aids sleep, calms anxiety and helps to deal with stress.
– Magnesium and Metatonin: Capsules of magnesium are helpful in treating sleep troubles and other health issues. I take the ones from Sundown but there are many brands to choose from.
What do you do to have a better night of sleep? Share your thoughts!