Your body manages and requires sleep in much the same way that it regulates the need for eating, drinking, and breathing. Research has been done on the effects of sleep and studies have consistently shown that sleep plays a vital role in promoting physical health, longevity, and emotional well-being. This explains why, after a good night’s sleep, you feel better, your thoughts are clearer, and your emotions are less fragile. Without adequate sleep, judgment, mood, and ability to learn and retain information are weakened. Over time, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to an array of serious medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even early mortality.
Here are some of the benefits of sleep and how it improves the quality and the length of your life.
- Sleep helps keep your heart healthy.
- Sleep reduces stress.
- Sleep improves memory function.
- Sleep helps control and maintain body weight issues.
- Sleep reduces your chance of diabetes.
- Sleep also reduces the occurrence of mood disorders.
Avoiding, or at least minimize the consumption, of the following substances can do a lot of good when trying to get wind down at night.
Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine are three substances that can rob you of quality sleep time. Avoiding all three can certainly minimize your efforts to fall asleep.
Some people who are sensitive to caffeine find that consuming this stimulant disrupts their sleep for the next 6 to 12 hours. Try to cut back on caffeine, which is found in chocolate and some teas as well as coffee and sodas.
Most people think of alcohol as a sedative, and they are right. However, that same glass of wine or spirits that causes you to feel more relaxed initially may actually interfere with getting a good night’s sleep. Alcohol can help you fall asleep more quickly, but it also makes frequent awakening more likely in the last half of your nightly sleep cycle.
Nicotine is another stimulant that disrupts sleep. Studies have shown that it both delays sleep and keeps you from waking up promptly.
Supportive Nutritional Ideas to Promote Restful Sleep
- Your evening meal should be geared towards relaxation and good digestion. Should be low to medium glycemic index carbohydrates such as a salad or sauteed vegetables rather than high glycemic index carbohydrates.
- Consume a small portion of healthy fat containing foods like avocado, nuts or seeds.
- Include herbal tea, especially chamomile.
Remember these tips to promote restful sleep and start the next day feeling energized!
Live your best,