Sleep plays an important role in an individual’s health. It boosts the body’s immune functions, improves concentration and assists in the healing process. A few hours of sleep, however, will not do. Health professionals recommend seven to nine hours of regular nightly sleep for adults, and those who do not meet that threshold may be more prone to serious complications such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Despite the dangers, deficient sleep habits plague more than one in three American adults. If you fall into that category, here are two tips to help improve your sleep.
Watch Your Diet
It’s widely known that caffeine impedes an individual’s ability to sleep, but many other foods and beverages also have an adverse effect. It can be difficult to rest after eating spicy foods that may cause heartburn and other stomach discomfort. Foods high in sugar and refined carbs may lead to jittery feelings and general unrest, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
On the other hand, some food can assist the sleep process. If you’re still hungry after dinner, opt for foods high in melatonin, a hormone that helps control the sleep cycle. Bananas, oranges, sunflower seeds and turkey sandwiches make excellent bedtime snacks.
Relax Your Body
Sometimes an individual’s body is too tense to effectively rest. Getting a massage not only helps release that tension, but also reduces stress hormones in the body. Regular Atlanta massage therapy appointments or those in your area will set the stage for relaxation and improved sleep.
If racing thoughts and worries impact your ability to fall asleep, try to manage stress levels with a relaxing evening routine. This could include taking a warm bath, listening to soft music or setting aside time for prayer or meditation before bed.
Sleep is too important to do without. Instead of counting sheep, try these tips to catch the z’s you need.