A Good Night’s Sleep is Food for the Brain

by Ciara Doyle
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5 Top Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Nearly everyone has trouble getting sufficient sleep from time to time, but when the problem persists day after day, it can potentially result in a lot of health problems. Apart from making you extremely tired and moody during the day, studies have proven that a lack of adequate sleep can have serious effects on your overall health, increasing your risk for obesity, heart disease, type two diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and perhaps a reduced sexual drive; not of which we aspire towards in a healthy life!
Perhaps all of us know that a healthy diet is a critical aspect of maintaining good health. However, a significant number of people don’t know that the prospect of having enough quality sleep is just as crucial as maintaining a proper diet. So what difference could that extra hour of sleep make in your daily life? Maybe quite a lot, health professionals say. If you are getting the recommended eight hours of sleep at night, then you are better placed to enjoy an array of the associated benefits. Harvard-backed research shows that the amount of sleep you get and your general mood are closely related. What’s more, getting the right amount of sleep stabilizes your mood, improves your cognitive function and equally decreases your risk of suffering from mental health conditions such as depression.
During sleep, lots of processes take place in your body. If you didn’t know, one of the most important things your system does while you are asleep is improving and boosting your immune system. This implies that if you don’t sleep well, your immune system’ ability to work optimally is compromised, a phenomenon that makes you susceptible to all types of illnesses.
Thankfully, there are a lot of things that you can do and enhance your night sleep. So today in this post, we are giving proven, useful and practical tips on how to improve your sleep.

1. Pay attention to the type of food you take at night

You should never retire to bed either hungry or stuffed. An overly-full belly can be distracting enough to keep you awake all night and so can a grumbling stomach. This implies that you should avoid heavy meals within two to three hours of bedtime. On the other hand, if you are feeling hungry right before bedtime, it is highly advisable that you only consume a small amount of healthy snack to keep you satisfied until breakfast.

2. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine as well as other chemicals known to interfere with sleep

We’re all aware that caffeine is a potent stimulant which has the potential to keep you awake for long hours during the night. Caffeine is present is a variety of products, including cola, certain pain relievers, tea, coffee as well as chocolate. It is advisable that you should not take such kind of foodstuffs four to six hours before bedtime. Even though alcohol may initiate sleep, after a few hours, it acts as a potent stimulant thus depriving you of a relaxed and adequate sleep. Experts say that it is best to limit your alcohol intake to either one or two drinks per day and avoid drinking within two to three hours of bedtime.

3. Take part in a regular exercise activity

According to a particular study conducted by California State University, exercise can potentially make you fall asleep faster. What’s more, it can help you sleep more comfortably and soundly, as long as it is done correctly and at the right time. Perhaps this is because exercise stimulates your system to secrete a special hormone referred to as cortisol, which in turn helps activate the brain’s alerting mechanism thus making you to fall asleep. It is also imperative to note that exercise enhances the overall effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin. However, you’ll have to pay attention to the timing of your exercise. Always finish your workouts at least three hours before bedtime. You can also work out earlier in the day.

4. Create a sleep schedule and stick to it

5. Have a comfortable bed to sleep in

Last, but by no means least; this is arguably the most important factor that you should seriously take into account. Consider your sleeping position, your size as well as a personal preference when purchasing a bed. When shopping for a bed, you should prioritize its comfort and design, while many are designed with the resolution of chronic back pain in mind. Again, contrary to popular belief, the height of your bed is pretty critical. The height of your bed can impact on the quality of your sleep and your overall mood as well. Also, your mattress and the pillow must be comfy and flexible. If you didn’t know, a low-quality mattress or pillow could well trigger anxiety which may in turn impact on your sleep.
The potential benefits of getting adequate sleep are possibly endless. If you are an individual who’s currently not getting the right amount of sleep, we’ve given you five proven tips to help you enjoy a pleasant night’s sleep. As the saying goes; healthy body, healthy mind and this age-old adage could not be more true when it comes to giving your brain the fuel it needs in the form of a great night’s sleep!
Ciara Doyle
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