Sleep is just one of those things that we need in order to function as human beings, yet is often extremely difficult to come by. In fact, a self-reported study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control found that 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. To further the issue, the American Sleep Apnea Association reportat an that estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, which is characterized as a serious sleep disorder that interrupts a person’s sleep.
Lack of sleep can have many negative side effects including. According to the National Institute of Health, sleep deprivation causes some of the following:
- Inability to think or clearly, react quickly, and form memories
- Affects your mood, leading to irritability
- Increases anxiety and depression
- Increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes
Those with sleep apnea may also reduce the amount of oxygen getting to the brain during critical hours, leading to numerous problems related to circulation as well as the aforementioned conditions.
So, how can you get a better night’s sleep?
All is not lost if you are one of the millions who suffer from lack of sleep. There are some things that you can do to remedy the problem so you can have improved quality to your sleep including the following seven hacks.
1. Have a cup of tea
… But not just any tea — chamomile tea. Derived from the daisy-like chamomile plant, this tea has long been used to help calm the mind and body in a natural way. In fact, some say that chamomile was used by ancient Egyptians and Romans in tea, creams and incenses to help remedy a cold, then later on for inducing sleep.
Recent reports including this one published in Molecular Medicine confirmed that chamomile tea can be used to treat insomnia and to induce sedation because of its mild tranquillizer and sleep-inducing qualities.
2. Limit the caffeine
You drink a cup of coffee in the morning to get you going, and then a swig of coke or your favorite caffeinated beverage come lunchtime to give you that second wind to finish off the day. Why? Because caffeine is a stimulant that keeps your brain active. Due to this, experts say you should limit your caffeine intake in the afternoon, with one study saying to abstain from coffee and other caffeinated beverages six hours before bedtime.
However, other studies show that coffee does not have negative effects on sleep, but carbonated beverages containing caffeine do. Either way, if you can lay off the joe and caffeinated fiz during the afternoon hours, you may just find a more restful slumber awaits.
3. Keep your bedroom a BED room
When the room you retire to for bed at night also serves as a work room, TV room and dining room, then you have no escape. By eliminating the things that do not belong in your bedroom, then that room becomes a place of rest — and love.
4. Get enough exercise
One major cause of sleep apnea is being overweight. The extra pounds around the chest and neck area can restrict the airways, and the extra weight can make it difficult to shift to your side or a better sleep position. Repeated studies including this one from the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases have found that obesity and sleep apnea correlate. Studies have also found that exercise has major benefits for those suffering from sleep apnea including, reducing the severity of the condition and daytime sleepiness, as well as increasing sleep efficiency and oxygen consumption.
If you choose exercise as a way to a better night’s sleep, it is best that you don’t do it right before bed, as the endorphins produced during exercise act as a stimulant, and may actually deter your efforts.
Meditation before bedtime play a key role in slowing the mind down. These things alone are relaxing to both the body and mind.
Meditating can help you find yourself in that moment of mindfulness. It is during these times when you are able to let go of the things you can’t control all while relaxing your mind and body into a restful night’s sleep.
6. Get blue blocking glasses
If you are one of the millions of people who spend a lot of their day in front of a computer screen, then your eyes are exposed to blue light that research has shown to have a negative effect on sleep. This particular color wavelength boost attention, reaction times, and mood. Prolonged and over exposure to blue light may also keep us alert longer, making it difficult to sleep.
One way to combat this is by wearing blue blocking glasses. Research has been conducted on these glasses, concluding that they show promise in improving cognitive functioning, mood and sleep hygiene and implementation.
7. Don’t worry about getting enough sleep
Have you found yourself in a bad sleep pattern for one reason or another, and then forget why you’re losing sleep because you’re so stressed out about getting enough sleep? This is a classic fear cycle that will keep you awake despite all of the other remedies you try.
So, don’t worry about sleep. Do what you can including the tips listed above, but believe that sleep will come. Your body needs it, and if you let it do its thing, you will experience that restful night you’ve been searching for.