Sleep is essential to overall health and wellness, but good sleep can sometimes prove elusive. Whether you suffer from insomnia, have trouble falling asleep when on the road, or have regular bouts of sleepless nights or nights of poor quality sleep, there are natural remedies and simple lifestyle changes that can assist you in falling asleep faster, improving sleep quality and lengthening periods of sleep.
Getting enough sleep is important to your health and your basic enjoyment of life. Sleep is associated with weight management, alertness, cognitive ability, energy levels, immune system function and an array of other issues that directly relate to your quality of life, how often you get sick, and risk factors for chronic and acute ailments.
If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you might consider making simple changes to your environment, diet or daily routine, or taking a natural supplement that can assist you on your quest for high quality sleep.
To begin, we will look at some simple dietary changes that can significantly impact your ability to obtain enough quality sleep each night.
Dietary Changes to Improve Sleep
Caffeine is an obvious culprit when it comes to lack of sleep or difficulty falling asleep. If you drink coffee, energy drinks, caffeinated teas or sodas, or if you consume foods that contain caffeine, such as chocolate, you might want to consider reducing your caffeine intake by limiting the number of caffeinated foods and drinks you consume each day. It is particularly important to limit your caffeine intake late in the day in the hours before you plan to sleep. As an added benefit to improving sleep by avoiding caffeine, you will likely find that you do not need to rely on caffeine during the day once you are getting better sleep at night.
Sugar is another offender that can reduce your chances of sleeping through the night, since consuming sugar results in a short-lived energy boost that is followed by a drop in blood sugar. If you eat sweets or drink sugary beverages before bedtime, you might find yourself waking up just a short while after falling asleep, once your blood sugar level drops. Avoid sweets close to bedtime and consider reducing your overall sugar intake, and you just might find that sleeping through the night is much easier to achieve.
While sugar and caffeine are well known sleep-inhibitors, magnesium deficiency is a dietary issue that affects sleep but is not talked about nearly as much. Not having enough magnesium in your diet is associated with a variety of ailments, such as cramps, constipation and even restless leg syndrome, as well as making it more difficult to fall and stay asleep. Eating foods that are rich in magnesium, such as whole grains, leafy greens and almonds, can help to ensure that you are getting enough magnesium and can assist you in improving your sleep.
Dietary factors are often to blame in sleep disturbances, so you may find that making these simple changes is enough to get your sleep patterns back on track. If not, stay tuned for the coming blog post focused on other natural remedies for improving sleep.