Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important to your health as diet and exercise. Sleep is critical for healing our bodies both mentally and physically. Irregular sleep cycles can affect our minds and our bodies, causing poor brain function, poor performance, hormonal changes, decreased immunity and weight gain.

Optimal health comes when we allow our bodies to heal. Here are a few tips to help reduce restless nights:

Set a sleep schedule and be consistent.

Set a schedule and be consistent.

Consistency is key. New routines will form habits and our bodies will adjust to these cycles. Set strict times for when to wake up and for when to lay down. The body will learn when to begin winding down, naturally, when it has a strict schedule.

Avoid caffeine late in the day to prevent sleeping issues.

Choose decaff late in the day.

Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the nervous system giving us that burst of energy after our morning cup. It can stay in our systems for several hours, which can affect our body’s ability to relax, when consumed late in the day.

Avoid late night snacking before going to bed.

Avoid the late night snack.

The type of snack can definitely play a role in this factor. Eating late in the evening and going to bed can cause weight gain it can also negatively affect the body’s natural release of melatonin. What is melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone that is responsible for your natural sleep/wake cycle and its levels are highest at night to help you sleep. It is commonly taking by those who have a hard time sleeping.

Alcohol can throw off sleep patterns.

Reduce alcohol consumption.

Alcohol is scientifically proven to increase sleep apnea and cause you to wake multiple times throughout the night. Alcohol can also decrease melatonin and HGH (human growth factors). HGH helps to regulate body composition, fluids, muscle/bone growth and metabolism.

Exercise and spending time outside can better your sleep.

Exercise and get outside.

Sunlight can improve the quality and longevity of your sleep by keeping your circadian rhythm healthy. A study showed that people with insomnia, who used daytime light exposure improved sleep quality and duration. It also reduced the time it took to fall asleep by 83%. There is no need to explain how important exercise is, although it is key to a goodnight’s rest, it is not recommended to work out right before bed due to the increase in epinephrine and adrenaline it produces.

Make sure you have a comfortable environment for optimal sleep.

Set your sleep environment.

It is important to be comfortable to ensure a good night’s rest. A mattress should be comfortable and supportive. Set the temperature to a comfortable setting. Are there external lights or noises that can be distracting to you? Consider blackout curtains or a white noise maker.

If you are having issues falling asleep or staying asleep, please give us a call for a full evaluation. We are confident we can have you sleeping through the night again.