Sleep – it signals the end of the day, whether it was good or bad, and is our escape from the world when we need a few hours to shut our brains off. Unfortunately, sleep can be a source of stress for some, especially if you struggle to come by it. Sleeping pills might seem like the answer, but they aren’t a long-term solution. If you need some extra help falling and staying asleep, read on for natural and safe ways to get that visit from the Sandman, brought to you by A Taste of Health.
Examine Your Bed
A major roadblock in your quest for sleep could be your bed. When was the last time you got a new mattress anyway? As The Spruce explains, the lifespan will vary, but you should aim to replace it every 7 to 10 years or so. When looking for a new mattress, don’t believe the myth that firm is best. The amount of firmness that’s desirable depends on your usual sleep position.
In addition to your mattress, consider updating your sheets as well. For example, you might choose cooling sheets if you sleep hot, or a weighted blanket if you experience frequent anxiety. The more ways you can improve your comfort, the better your chance for the slumber you need.
Pay Attention to Your Dental Health
Believe it or not, your dental health can have a serious effect on your sleep quality. If you have a cavity or tooth pain, or you suffer from a misaligned jaw, then you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Brushing and flossing your teeth every night before bed (as well as in the morning!) can help ensure your teeth stay healthy, which helps improve sleep and prevents other issues from starting (such as plaque buildup, which can lead to periodontal disease). To prevent sleep issues caused by misaligned teeth, there are affordable and effective at-home alignment options available, such as Byte. At-home aligners are shipped directly to you without the need to visit a dentist or orthodontist, and your progress is monitored remotely by a team of professionals. What’s more, some options produce results in just three months. And if you prefer, companies like Byte also offer at-night aligners.
Look to Your Phone
You might be surprised to learn that there are ways to turn your phone into a sleep enhancer, thanks to some well-chosen apps. The more apps you run, though, the more battery power it uses, so you could use this as an excuse to upgrade to a newer phone.
So, what apps should you download? Consider these:
· SnoreLab – Are you a snorer, or suspect you might be? SnoreLab records your sleep and gives you a snore score. You can listen to samples labeled with the varying noise level, and browse solutions to try to improve your score such as a wedge pillow or mouthpiece.
· Sleep Time – Have you ever wanted to do a sleep study? With your phone you can conduct your own modified version using Sleep Time. Once you place the phone under your pillow, you’ll be able to track movements, sleep levels/cycles, and provide you with a recommended wake time based on when you’re at your lightest sleep level.
· Headspace – You’ve probably heard of this one, and for good reason: it works. The app offers soothing sounds to create your own personal sound machine, guided meditations, and themed sessions for sleep, anxiety, and stress.
Check Your Sleep Routine
One of the culprits of your lack of sleep could be you, whether you realize it or not. With that in mind, Self suggests taking a look at your nightly routine. Are you consistent with your bedtime? Are you drinking caffeine to wind down? Are you falling asleep with your phone in your hand? All of these things make for an inconsistent and tough night’s sleep. Try to pick a bedtime and stick with it so that your body can fall into a rhythm, and find something relaxing such as aromatherapy or herbal tea to relax your mind and body before bed. If you’re craving a snack, try not to eat it too close to bedtime — 45 minutes or earlier is best. The ideal bedtime snack contains protein, carbs, and potentially even tryptophan.
If you’re in a sleep rut, you might feel like you’ll never dig your way out. Well, grab that shovel and get to work! There are ways to improve your sleep, whether it’s revamping your sleep routine, updating your mattress, or using a fancy new app.
If you’re looking to revamp your eating habits for better health, A Taste of Health can provide you with nutrition counseling to help you reach your goals. Contact us with any questions you
may have or if you’re ready to get started!
I hope you have enjoyed this great guest post from Gabriel Patel at http://www.healthwellwise.com we would love to hear any questions or feedback you have on this post!
Wishing you health, happiness, and a good night’s sleep!
–Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN
Denver’s Dancing Dietitian
A Taste of Health, LLC
“Improving Quality of life one bite at a time”