Getting proper sleep is a lot like eating a proper diet and exercising in that we all know that we should be doing it, but few of us actually do. Regardless, getting enough quality sleep is critical for maintaining a healthy body and mind.
More and more, however, it seems that many of us have difficulty getting to sleep. This is likely due to a variety of factors, including stress, poor diet, or overconsumption of caffeine. Caffeine in particular is a culprit for many, as caffeinated beverages only grow in popularity. This is not relegated just to coffee and tea (although, with a coffee shop on nearly every corner in most major cities, coffee and tea are certainly not exempt from this), but the wide array of “energy” drinks that are commonly consumed by most Americans. Even things like our addiction to smart phones, computers and television are thought to play a role in our sleeplessness.
To remedy our sleeplessness, pharmaceutical companies have plenty of prescription options. Many of these, however, are addictive and come with a laundry list of side effects. Sometimes, these are necessary for some people, but certainly, there is a better, more natural way to sleep!
Getting enough sleep typically means between 6-8 hours per night on a regular basis. The amount of sleep you need is really like your thumbprint; it is unique to you and something you must deduce, yourself. Getting quality sleep means getting uninterrupted sleep in which you enter into deep, REM sleep. This is the kind of deep, restful sleep your body craves.
There is no silver bullet for a great night’s sleep, but there are some things you can do to assist yourself in getting a better night’s sleep.
1. Avoid caffeine, especially later in the day.
3. Avoid backlit devices before bed.
4. Try incorporating quiet times, prayer or meditation before bed.
5. Change your diet.
6. Try all-natural sleep aides.