Are You Getting Your Z’s?

Believe it or not, we should wake up each day full of energy and ready to take on the world. When was the last time you felt that way? If you don’t feel that way, there are many factors that may be responsible for that low-on-fuel feeling – and that can be changed.

When you don’t get the amount of sleep your body requires, it can affect a couple of appetite-regulating hormones (ghrelin and leptin) that cause you to eat more. When you eat too much, it can result in blood sugar issues. Another effect of not getting enough rest is an escalation of inflammation in the body, which can result in arterial build up, and inflammation that can promote cancer. When the body’s circadian rhythm is altered, it can mess with the body’s sleep hormone, melatonin, which is a cancer deterrent.

What can we do to better help ourselves to experience a healthy and restful night’s sleep?

Create an environment that beckons sleep.

  • Is the room cool? Sixty degrees is good sleep temperature.
  • Is the room dark? Melatonin is produced by the brain’s pineal gland at night — when it’s dark — to regulate our sleep-wake cycle.
  • Is the room silent? White noise can help drown background noises.
  • Is the room without distractions that hinder sleep, such as TV or paper work? Neither of these should be in the bedroom.
  • Is your sleepwear non-restrictive?

Things that we do before bedtime can hinder our ability to sleep and stay asleep.

Avoid before bed:

  • Alcohol, as it can initially help you go to sleep, but may cause you to wake and then be unable to return to sleep.
  • According to “Research has shown that smokers spend more time sleeping lightly and less time in deep sleep than non-smokers.”
  • The body’s temperature rises a little during the daytime and it goes back down at night. As the body’s temperature drops, it is a signal to the body that it is sleep time. Exercise temporarily raises the body’s temperature (as much as two degrees).
  • Eating before bed can trigger acid reflux.

A few more helpful tips are:

  • Only go to bed when you are sleepy. If you go to bed before you are sleepy, it can cause sleep anxiety.
  • Try to go to bed and rise at the same time every day to train your internal clock.
  • A good supporting mattress is important for a good night’s sleep. Shop around and find the one that is right for you.

These are just a few suggestions, but hopefully they will help you sleep like a baby!

“Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!”

By: Sharon Lively

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