Did you know that on an average night, between 30 and 40 million Americans struggle with getting enough sleep? From insomnia to restless legs, to stress and even not being able to get comfortable, sleep deprivation is at epidemic levels.
What can a lack of sleep do?
A lack of sleep can have serious consequences.
Studies have shown that a lack of sleep affects your coordination and reaction times, similar to alcohol, as well as your cognitive function.
But it doesn’t stop there. It also affects your hormones and immune system and can put you at risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Not getting enough sleep has a severe impact on your health, and the less rest you have, the more significant the impact.
The real cost of sleep deprivation
Sleep debt is a real issue. Your brain becomes foggier, and you’ll find it harder to make clear and conscious decisions, and experience difficulties to concentrate. Your emotions become more intense, and it can trigger that feeling of being down or depressed about life in general.
Your physical self is affected as well, with your reaction times increasing and your coordinations decreasing. There is a real risk of accidents at home and work.
All this leaves us with a genuine question: How can I improve my sleep quality and keep myself healthy?
My Top 5 Ways to sleep better and live healthier
Here are my top 5 suggestions:
Create a safe and inviting sleep space
Fluff up those pillows and get your cozy blankets out. Your bed needs to be inviting and create the feeling that you want to go to sleep there. I’ve found that a weighted blanket is what I need to set off those sleepy vibes. They’re great for reducing anxiety and calming, and help me to get that much-needed sleep.
Switch off to switch off
Take the electronics out of the bedroom! No phones, tablets, or laptops. Using these types of things can stimulate your brain so that you won’t sleep properly, and blue light has shown to affect your circadian rhythms. Also, try some mindfulness tricks and meditation to put your mind into sleep mode. (Hint, why not write yourself a list of things that you need to achieve tomorrow so your brain can switch off and rest!)
Make a routine
It’s a simple change that has a huge impact. Go to bed at the same time, and get up at the same time. You’re setting yourself the internal alarm clocks that will help you sleep better.
Look after yourself
Healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand with establishing good sleep. With my holistic view of life, I believe that your healthy mind also starts with a healthier you! Eat a balanced diet, avoid things like caffeine and “junk foods,” and look after your body.
Yoga is a great way to relax your body for sleep as well – regulating your breathing and stretching out muscles to get into your relaxation mode.
It’s all in the oils
You heard me. Oils are an excellent way to support sleep. They can help your mind drift away from problems, and remember just to breathe. You can’t go wrong with the traditional lavender, and the lesser-known vetiver, to calm and soothe while you’re going off to sleep. If you tend to wake up after a couple of hours, try Wild Orange or Lime to take you back to sleepy land.
In the morning, my personal favorites at the moment are OnGuard (Immune Blend) and Melaleuca (Tea Tree), which keep me healthy and ready to start my day.
So there you have it – my top five ways to avoid sleep deprivation and get that good night’s sleep. If you want more information, why not join my workshop next month titled “Sleep, Stress, and Essential Oils.” Get in touch to reserve your place, and I look forward to welcoming you!