Sleep is essential for our overall health and wellbeing. Yet, sleep quality and quantity are at an all-time low. Fortunately, nature has a cure for everything. Sleep helps our body and brain function properly yet more and more people are experiencing sleep deprivation with sleep quality and quantity being at an all-time low.
1. Why We Need Sleep
Just like we need water and food, we need sleep to survive so no wonder we spend one-third of our lives sleeping. While we sleep, our bodies are ‘at work’. The brain stores the information we accumulated and gets rid of toxins. Nerve cells reorganize and communicate, both of which support healthy brain function. The body repairs cells and restores energy so we are ready to conquer the next day.
Without these processes taking place, our bodies cannot function properly.
In simple words, sleep is necessary for many biological reasons. According to the energy conservation theory, sleeping reduces our energy use when it’s ‘inconvenient to hunt for food. The restorative theory says the body needs sleep to restore itself by repairing muscles, releasing hormones, synthesizing proteins, and for tissues to grow. The brain plasticity theory says sleep is required for brain function. Sleep is also essential for emotional health as brain activity increases in areas that regulate emotion and promote stability. Sleep also affects our weight as it controls hunger hormones, it helps protect us against insulin resistance. Quality sleep is also essential for a well-functioning immune system and heart health.
2. Tips for a Better Nights Sleep
Here are a few evidence-based tips to help you sleep better.
Optimize your bedroom environment
Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean, and enjoyable haven. Blackout curtains can block out unwanted lights, they can even provide a noise barrier and they help regulate the temperature in your room which can also benefit your Centerpoint Energy bill.
Increase your exposure to natural light
Natural sunlight during the day improves our energy levels during the day, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration. Natural light helps to keep our circadian rhythm healthy.
Reduce your exposure to blue light
Night-time light exposure has the opposite effect as it tricks the brain into thinking it’s daytime. Wear glasses that protect you against blue light and install apps that block blue light on your smartphones. Even better, reduce your usage of smart devices and laptops and definitely turn them off at least 2 hours before going to bed.
3. Natural Sleep Remedies
If you need help in getting a good night’s sleep, here are a few natural helpers.
Melatonin is a hormone that our bodies produce naturally. It signals to your brain that it’s time to sleep which is why it is such a popular supplement.
A powerful yet soothing herb with many health benefits is known to improve sleep quality. Take 80–160 mg and see for yourself- at least you’ll enjoy its enchanting scent.
Several studies suggest that this popular herb can help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality All you need is 500 mg before bed to experience its soothing effect that combats anxiety, muscle tension, depression and even menopause.
This mineral is responsible for over 600 reactions within your body, magnesium can improve relaxation and enhance sleep quality, while benefiting brain, digestive and heart health. It also helps in relaxing our body which is why it is often used also as an oil for sore and stiff muscles.
This amino acid can improve relaxation and sleep.
Also known as Passiflora incarnata, this is a popular herbal remedy for insomnia.
Some studies showed that consuming around 240 mg of this natural herb up to an hour before bed may help reduce stress, enhance relaxation, and promote sleep.
Sleep keeps us healthy and functioning well. It lets your body and brain repair, restore, and re energize. Taking natural sleep remedies is just one way to increase the likelihood of achieving restful sleep but they’ll be most effective when used in combination with good sleep practices and habits.