Have trouble sleeping? Well, welcome to the club. 30% of Americans struggle with insomnia and 35% fail to get enough sleep every night. Fortune magazine reported that lack of sleep costs the US $411 billion annually.
So yeah, if you are struggling with your sleep, you are not alone. Sleep is crucial for physical and mental health. If you aren't getting enough, you may be struggling with a variety of other health issues as a result.
The good news is, there are lots of things that you can do to cure insomnia naturally. Sleep problem solutions are right around the corner… or down the page, I should say! But before we dive into that, let's talk about why sleep is so important and how to know if you are getting enough.
Sleep is as crucial to human health as eating and drinking water. Although scientists haven't yet agreed on a theory on why we need sleep, we know a lot about what happens to our body and brain when we sleep.
During the day, there is a constant stream of sensory information going into the brain. At night when we sleep, the brain organizes that information and stores it as memories. That is why scientists encourage students to get enough sleep when preparing for big tests. The brain will retain much more information by sleeping on it than it will if you stay up all night studying.
The body undergoes many physical changes during sleep. For example, cells synthesize protein, tissues repair themselves, and growth hormones are released while you are sleeping. During the day, your body needs to spend its energy moving, digesting, and responding to your environment. During the night, your body can redirect that energy towards repairing your body from the stress that it endured during the day.
There is a lot that goes on while you sleep, but that is the gist of it. If your body has the proper amount of time to sleep, then it will be stronger and healthier!
The CDC recommends that adults ages 18-60 get at least seven hours of sleep every night for optimal health. Teenagers need 8-10 hours, and after 60 you should get 7-9.
Based on those recommendations, are you getting enough sleep? If not, your physical and mental health could be paying the price.
Some of the symptoms of lack of sleep include lowered immune system, mood changes, high blood pressure, memory issues, weight gain, and much more. Getting more sleep can help with these health issues!
If you are having trouble focusing, staying awake and alert, or are irritable, then you may be suffering from sleep deprivation.
So, let's talk about insomnia solutions…
The first step to help you sleep better is building a nighttime routine. If you are eating right before you go to sleep and then sitting in bed on your phone, that may be a significant cause of your difficulty sleeping.
The light from phones, computers, and TVs disrupts your circadian rhythm and makes your body think that it is still daytime. If your body still thinks that it is daytime, then you are not going to be falling asleep any time soon.
Try putting away all screens at 8 or 9 pm every night. With this change alone, you will see a significant improvement in your ability to fall and stay asleep.
Eating close to bedtime may also be causing you to have trouble sleeping. Experts recommend that you stop eating 3-4 hours before bed. At night, your body slows digestion and stores food as fat instead of burning it for energy. This can lead to difficulty sleeping and long-term weight gain.
If you tend to get hungry at night, try a nice cup of hot tea before reaching for the late-night snacks!
What should you do instead of eating and watching TV before bed? Practice self-care! This is a great opportunity to take some time to recuperate and focus on yourself. Whatever you like to do for self-care should be incorporated into your nightly routine.
Everyone is going to be different, but here are a few ideas if you aren't sure what to do!
Everyone's night routine is going to look different. Find what works best for you and do your best to stick to it every night. By developing a routine that you do every day before bed, your body will learn that when you do those things, it is time for bed.
I have yet to meet a person who hasn't experienced that agony of laying in bed with their thoughts racing for what seems like hours. Your nighttime routine should help calm your mind. But, if you are still struggling to fall asleep, there are some great tools to help you calm your mind and drift off to sleep peacefully!
Take2minutes utilizes eight different sleep assistant techniques to help you fall asleep. Text "help me sleep" or "send me a sleep audio" to access these amazing tools! You'll get a guided sleep exercise with a soothing background track of your choice.
These sleep methods utilize breathing exercises, visualizations, and relaxation techniques to help you drift off into blissful sleep. They were chosen for their proven success in helping people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
There are eight different options to choose from, so you can try a few different ones out and find what works best for you.
Now that you know why sleep is important and how to utilize it to reach your health goals, it's time to make an action plan.
Decide what you want your nighttime routine to look like, and put it into practice tonight. Put your electronics away and have a relaxing night doing the things that you enjoy most.
You won't be able to stick to your routine every night because… well, sometimes life happens. But, do your best to stay in the habit of winding down before bed and try out some of Take2minute's sleep assist tools to help you drift off to sleep tonight.