Getting enough sleep is vital to maintaining mental and physical health. Struggling to get good sleep is a universal problem among both men and women, but women are more likely to experience insomnia due to hormone changes during their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause (1). Below are five reasons why improving sleep should be a priority to ensure better health.
Insufficient sleep can increase your risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression (2).
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night can reduce stress and improve hormone function.
Problems with sleep can trigger mental health conditions or make current conditions worse (3).
Not getting enough sleep can disrupt cortisol (our stress hormone) patterns for the following day making us feel wired, anxious or tired the next day.
Sleeping for 7-8 hours a night can support immune function and help you to avoid getting sick as frequently as well as improve gut health.
Create a comfortable sleep environment- a dark room, a fan for white noise, or having calming smells like lavender to promote relaxation.
Make a routine- try to stick to the same bedtime every night as well as waking up at the same time in the morning. This will help your body get on a consistent routine!
Avoid electronic use right before bed. All electronics should be on “night mode” or yellow/warm light 2 hours before bed and avoid electronics all together 30 minutes before bed.
If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do a quiet activity like reading or stretching in a room with minimal light.
Avoid caffeine past the afternoon hours as well as alcohol and large meals at least 30 minutes before sleeping. If your body is trying to digest food, it will not be able to fully get into rest mode.
I know it may seem like an issue that is tough to fix. With busy schedules, kids, travel etc. it is very difficult to get quality sleep sometimes, but I hope this quick information about sleep can show how truly important it is for our current health as well as longevity of life.