Healthy Sleep Guide

Healthy Sleep Guide

Regularly getting a good night's sleep is essential for overall health and quality of life. Sleep is important for recovery and energy conservation, as well as important functions like: (1)

  • Neural development 
  • Learning and memory
  • Emotional regulation
  • Cardiovascular and metabolic function
  • Cellular toxin removal

Unfortunately, getting good sleep is sometimes more difficult than it should be. Research has shown that seven to nine hours per night is the optimal amount of sleep for the average adult. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of Americans say that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep. (1, 2)

While feeling tired is never fun, not getting enough sleep is linked to much more serious outcomes, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. However, there are many ways to turn trouble sleeping around. (1, 2)

Read this healthy sleep guide for tips to sleep better tonight!

1. Eat and drink for good sleep.

What you consume throughout the day - and especially in the evening - has a direct impact on how well you’ll sleep that night. While there have been some studies on specific foods that promote sleep, it’s more important to generally eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. This means a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and includes lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. (3)

The time that food is consumed is also important. Eating a meal or even a snack too close to bedtime can cause acid reflux and other sleep issues. Eating spicy or fatty foods late in the evening can cause problems for sleep, as well. (3)

Beverages can also impact sleep, and caffeine and alcohol are often culprits of sleep issues. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening, as it can stay in people’s systems for hours and keep them up at night. People who enjoy a cup of coffee in the evening can get their fix with decaf to avoid the stimulating effects of caffeine. (3)

While alcohol often makes people feel sleepy at first, it actually wreaks havoc on sleep cycles and makes getting a healthy amount of sleep more difficult. Instead of a beer or glass of wine in the evening, drink water or caffeine-free tea in the evening to prepare the body for a restful night. (3)

2. Get into a routine.

It’s normal for people to change the times when they go to bed and wake up throughout the week. For example, many people tend to stay up later and sleep in on the weekend. But that habit can mess up the body’s biological clock. (4)

According to the Mayo Clinic, healthy sleep relies on a routine. They recommend going to bed and waking up at the same times every day. On the weekend, those times shouldn’t change by more than an hour. While it might be a difficult change to make at first, a consistent sleep schedule should reinforce the body’s sleep-wake cycle and make it easier to consistently get a good night of sleep. (4)

3. Sign off electronic devices.

Smartphones are ubiquitous these days, and for many people, they’re basically glued to their hands. But using these devices in the evening can make it more difficult to fall asleep. (5)

Electronic devices like smartphones and computers emit blue light. At night, this type of light confuses the body’s circadian rhythm and can make it think that it’s still daytime. As a result, the hormone melatonin gets suppressed. Melatonin’s job is to help the body relax and get deep sleep. Without enough melatonin, it’s difficult for people to get enough restful sleep. (5)

To avoid blue light and melatonin suppression, stop using smartphones and computers two hours before bedtime. People who have to use blue light-emitting devices late into the evening can try wearing blue light-blocking glasses. There are also apps that block blue light available for both phones and computers. (5)

4. Relax before bed.

Taking time to relax before bed with calming activities can support healthy sleep. Committing to relaxation may also provide people with a reason to set aside their phones and avoid blue light before bed. (4)

Try some of the following activities to learn what helps you sleep best:

  • reading a book
  • taking a hot bath
  • meditating
  • breathing exercises
  • listening to calming music
  • visualization
  • massage

5. Make your bedroom conducive to sleep.

Take some time to create a bedroom environment that can make it easier to fall and stay asleep. For many people, light and noise can make sleep more difficult. Install room-darkening curtains to limit exposure to outside light. If that’s not enough, an eye mask may be helpful. To eliminate distracting noises, try using earplugs or turn on a fan or white noise machine. (4)

Temperature is another factor that can help create an ideal sleep environment. Many people prefer their bedroom to be a cool temperature, so changing the thermostat before bed or having a fan in the bedroom might be helpful. (4)

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6. Take a supplement.

People who regularly have trouble sleeping may want to try taking a supplement that promotes sleep. ecoSleep is a regenerative sleep formula that promotes restful sleep, balanced sleep cycles, and healthy circadian rhythms.

The ingredients in ecoSleep support restorative sleep. GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) is a primary neurotransmitter that exerts a relaxing effect on the nervous system. ecoSleep offers natural GABA support with three powerful extracts: HonoPure 98% honokiol derived from Magnolia officinalis bark, lemon balm, and passionflower. Additionally, L-theanine, L-tryptophan, and a small amount of melatonin support relaxation and restful sleep.

ecoSleep also includes traditional Asian botanicals, which add powerful, regenerative benefits. Shi Chang Pu (Acorus gramineus), Bai Shao (Paeonia lactiflora), and others support healthy sleep cycles while optimizing the body’s repair mechanisms. According to the principles of traditional Chinese herbalism, these ingredients work together to support the liver, kidneys, respiratory system, digestion, nervous system, and other areas of health for restorative, rejuvenating sleep

Getting good sleep is extremely important to overall health and wellness. Follow the tips in this healthy sleep guide to get your best rest!

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Sources:

  1. Mukherjee S, Patel S, Kales S et al. An Official American Thoracic Society Statement: The Importance of Healthy Sleep. Recommendations and Future Priorities | American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. ATS Journals. https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.201504-0767ST. Published 2015.
  2. Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/index.html.
  3. Suni E. The Best Foods to Help You Sleep - Sleep Foundation. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition/food-and-drink-promote-good-nights-sleep. Published 2020.
  4. 6 steps to better sleep. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/art-20048379. Published 2020.
  5. Figueiro M, Wood B, Plitnick B, Rea M. The impact of light from computer monitors on melatonin levels in college students. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21552190/. Published 2011.

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