Are you getting your beauty rest? We spend one-third of our life sleeping, and not surprisingly, how much quality sleep we experience has a strong correlation with our overall health. There are various reasons why one in three Americans fail to get adequate sleep, but several common reasons for being sleep deprived include stress, shift work, eating/drinking late, and too much caffeine/alcohol. So, what’s the big fuss over getting some ZZZ’s?
According to the National Sleep Foundation Sleep Health Index, the average amount of sleep Americans typically get is 7 hours and 36 minutes a night, with an increase of 40 minutes of sleep on the weekends. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2016 that short sleep duration (less than 7 hours a night in a 24-hour period) is associated with greater risk of diabetes, obesity, coronary heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress and death. The American Sleep Association reports that roughly 50-70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder, with insomnia being the most common. Keep reading to discover six sleep hacks to help you get your ZZZ’s.
6 Sleep Hacks
- Shut off all electronics before getting into bed. Computers and smartphones emit blue light, which negatively affects your circadian rhythm. TV falls in this category as well. Turning off the TV a couple of hours before bed helps!
- Don’t exercise late at night. Exercising at night increases hormones such as adrenaline and epinephrine, thereby counteracting the act of winding it down at bedtime. It’s ideal to exercise earlier in the day. Or, instead of a hardcore gym sesh, try yoga before bed (yoga gets you in the zen for sleep)
- Avoid drinking caffeine after 4 p.m. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which leads to the inability to relax at night.
- Take a relaxing shower or a bath at night. Various studies reveal that a shower or bath can help you fall asleep faster.
- Make it a habit to go to sleep and wake up at consistent times. This will help to regulate your body’s circadian functions.
- Create a routine that promotes physically winding down. Examples include listening to relaxing music, reading a book, or completing a stretching routine. These techniques have been shown to improve sleep and reduce insomnia.
Give any or all of these a try and be ready to catch some ZZZ’s. Sleep well!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adriana Morrison is an 18+ year veteran of the fitness industry, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. She began her fitness modeling career at age 41 and is mom to 4 children. Want more inspiration? Follow Adriana on Instagram! : @adrianamorrison_