Still feeling tired after a full night's rest? Here are four ways to eliminate junk sleep.

  • by Albina Kuanova
Still feeling tired after a full night's rest? Here are four ways to eliminate junk sleep.

Do you constantly find yourself struggling to get a good night's sleep? Oftentimes there are many contributing factors that affect the quality of sleep a person receives. Understanding what causes you to toss and turn in the middle of the night while using natural/holistic methods to combat insomnia-like tendencies will ultimately allow your sleep to reach its greatest potential. Since adequate rest and a consistent sleep schedule are key components of maintaining good mental and physical health, it is crucial you develop consistent sleeping habits that will allow you to be well rested for a long term period instead of using pharmaceutical drugs that only provide temporary relief. 

One of the most common causes of sleep disturbance is too much exposure to blue light. As a result of technology becoming so heavily integrated into our daily lives, humans are receiving more blue light exposure than ever. When the human body detects light (sunlight or bluelight) it decreases the amount of melatonin that is released in the brain which is the naturally occurring hormone that makes a person sleepy. Decreasing daily screen time as well as making an extra effort to power down all personal electronics thirty minutes prior to falling asleep will naturally increase melatonin levels resulting in a drastic improvement in your ability to fall asleep.

You sometimes hear friends, family, and co-workers unveil their desire for an energy drink, coffee, soda, or something that will give them a “boost.” These caffeine-rich drinks give you a temporary boost but are often followed by harsh side effects. However, unlike their counterpart there are natural beverages that assist with falling asleep and maintaining a deep state of rest without high levels of caffeine, sugar, or any negative side effects. Tea is one of the most favored night time beverages among people who prefer natural remedies. Chamomile Tea made from dried Chamomile flowers has been used for decades as a natural way of treating insomnia. It is believed Chamomile Tea contains high quantities of an antioxidant known as apigenin. Apigenin sticks to receptors in the human brain initiating a feeling of tiredness which results in high quality rest. For consumers who find the taste of Chamomile Tea undesirable yet want an evening drink, it is best to stay away from drinks that contain caffeine or only drink caffeine early in the day.              

Exercise and sleep go hand in hand when it involves improving the quality of your sleep. People who exercise daily often find it easier to fall asleep than those who do not exercise regularly. Exercising affects more elements of rest than simply being able to fall asleep. According to research conducted by medical directors at the Johns Hopkins Center of Sleep, people who exercise regularly experience increased amounts of deep sleep (a.k.a REM sleep). During physical activity an individual’s body temperature increases, but when the body temperature starts to return to its normal temperature the endorphin levels decline resulting in sleepiness. Researchers believe thirty minutes is the minimum amount of time a person should exercise to reap the benefits of exercising during his/her sleep. Physical activity also greatly reduces stress that makes the process of falling asleep difficult for people considered to be less active. 

Your sleep environment plays a vital role in affecting the quality of sleep a person receives. Minor details such as room temperature, outside noise, light exposure, and mattress/pillow comfort can all have a drastic impact on your sleep quality. Learning what type of sleep environment works best for your body will allow you to naturally achieve maximum amounts of REM sleep. Factors such as an uncomfortable bed and outside noise may disturb you while sleeping or prevent you from sleeping at all. By creating an optimal sleeping environment that you use on a consistent basis your body will naturally become accustomed to the setting and it will be a sign that it is time for you to sleep.      


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