How to Get Better Sleep

Monday, August 17 2020 11:32 AM
By Ellen Healy

What keeps you up at night? It's probably not the monsters in your closet.

 The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person. One person may be happy with four hours of sleep each night, while another person may easily sleep ten hours. No matter how long you sleep, quality sleep is important for quality wellness. If you’re not sleeping through the night, your body could be telling you something important. But what?

 

Why am I Not Sleeping?

While problems with sleeping can be complex, waking up from a dead sleep in the middle of the night and not being able to return to sleep is a common symptom of low glucose in the bloodstream. Known as hypoglycemia, chronic low blood sugar can diminish or completely interrupt the process that keeps the brain powered overnight. There you are, fast asleep, and suddenly your body releases “fight or flight” hormones. These hormones work to raise blood sugar back to a safer level, but they also can cause sleep-ending panic or anxiety in the middle of the night. Other common overnight symptoms of low blood sugar are nightmares, damp nightclothes or bedding, waking up with an elevated heart rate, waking up with a headache, and even loss of short-term memory. Fortunately, we have some great tips to share that can help you get the most out of your night’s sleep.

 

Tips and Tricks to Get the Best Sleep of Your Life

 

1. Try eating nut butter, meat, or eggs

If you wake suddenly in the night, eating a small amount of protein may be enough to raise and sustain a healthy blood sugar level, allowing you to get back to bed. (Note: Eating sweet or starchy foods could cause another glucose spike and crash.)

 

2. Don't Skip Meals

Never skip eating a breakfast lower in carbohydrates and continue eating regularly throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels consistent.

 

3. Say no to sugars and starches

Seek out foods lower on the glycemic index. The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating.

 

3. Stay on a schedule

Get up and go to bed at the same time every day to strengthen your body’s wake-sleep cycle. Don’t oversleep.

 

 

 

4. Don't force it

If you don’t fall asleep within fifteen minutes of laying down, get back up and do something relaxing until you’re tired enough to try again.

 

5. Relax into sleep

Creating a bedtime ritual of soothing activities signals the body it’s time to become drowsy.

 

6. Unplug and avoid blue light

Some studies show using TV or other electronics before bed can disrupt sleep.

 

7. Turn off the world

Create a dark and quiet environment to sleep in. Blackout window shades, fans, earplugs, and eye-shades can help.

 

8. Exercise

Routine physical activity can lead to falling asleep faster and sleeping more deeply. Just avoid exercising too close to bedtime, when physical activity could energize you and keep you awake.

 Looking for some guidance? Check out this page for daily workouts, blogs, and classes led by our expert instructors!

 

9. Less Stress is best

Finding healthy stress-busters can help bring much-needed peace and rest to your life. Letting stress linger means sleep suffers and so do all the things you have to think about and do daily. Want ways to reduce stress?

Check out these five ways to relieve stress and our other blog on even more ways to reduce anxiety

 

 

Everyone will encounter a sleepless night on occasion. If you notice that trouble sleeping has become a frequent occurrence, consider calling your doctor. Getting help managing your diet, exercise and stress can often treat the underlying causes of sleep problems.

 

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