I don’t know about you, but I need sleep. Lots of it–at least 8 hours a night– or I’m not very productive the next day. I find myself constantly raiding the fridge. and maybe, even, I’m a tad cranky. And of course, I find myself wondering why I didn't get more sleep in the first place. Hopefully, this article about 10 ways to get more sleep, stay slim and Improve aging helps.
If you made a list of the ways that lack-of-sleep affect you, it might include the list on the left. Never fear; however, there’s good news if you consistently have good night’s sleep.
Lack of Sleep can lead to: A Good Night’s Sleep can lead to:
Being accident prone
An irregular heartbeat
Higher blood pressure
Lack of sex drive
Increased risk of death (Source)
A stable heartbeat
A slimmer you
Lower blood pressure
A better sex life
A stronger immune system
A longer life
Does any of this sound familiar? I had no idea the list of negatives from lack of sleep was so long or scary before I started researching this subject.I was a full-fledged early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of gal when I was younger. Dad said that I’d get the worm that way. You couldn’t keep me down once the sun was up. Legos were calling my name. But, as I got older and found myself married to a night owl, my habits changed. If I wanted to be with my dear husband, then I’d better hang in there until around midnight.
But, then the morning sunlight would wake me up early and I’d have to take a nap…which then became a cycle. Wow, did my productivity go down. As a side note, naps are actually a good thing if you can keep them short. Any way you can get more sleep if you're deprived is good, but naps don't take the place of a full night's rest.
Sleep is a complicated subject, but I’ll bet you’re interested in what will keep you in deep slumber until you hit the magic number. It’s worth knowing what might be keeping you up so you can eliminate as many of these as possible.
Limit your consumption to one 5 oz. glass for women and 2, 5 ounce glasses for men not more than 3 hours before bedtime. (Best for reduction of breast cancer risk, too).
Establish a consistent bedtime routine when you can to sync up with your natural circadian rhythm.
Get more exercise. The more active you are, the better you’ll sleep. Even 20 minutes of walking a few time a days can help.
Find time for a 15 minute sun bath preferably in the morning or buy one of those special lights that simulate the sunlight (these help with depression, too).
5. Lack of certain nutrients
Try supplementing with magnesium, calcium and Vitamin B. Although Melatonin can help induce sleep, do not rely on this pill that is actually a hormone.
6. Not enough REM sleep can lead to memory issues
Try to go to sleep before midnight take a vitamin B supplement, especially B-6.
Check the labels to see if your medication might be the culprit. Discuss with your doctor.
Try to limit caffeine intake to no later than 2:00 p.m.
Keep a notepad by the bed and write down any worries that come up during the night. They’ll be out of your head and ready for you to tackle in the morning.
10. Glowing electronics
Nighttime exposure blocks the production of melatonin at night so cut back on electronic use at least an hour before bed or you could purchase blue blocker glasses to turn electronic light into the more soothing orange light.
Nowadays, I can go all day without a nap. What helped me was probably a combination of things, like upping my daily exercise (increases the mitochondria which have to do with energy, but that’s another discussion) and, taking B vitamins. I’m happy to be more productive and to not have my head in the frig so many times a day!
As I mentioned, the issues surrounding sleep disturbances are long and sometimes complicated, so don’t just take my word for it. If you are having trouble sleeping, it’s worth looking at all of the possible causes and consulting with your doctor. There are many sites that offer lengthy explanations surrounding this very important health topic. Here’s one from webmd.com. Good luck!