Healthy sleep is vital for ones overall well-being but getting a good nights sleep can be quite difficult. As such, we put together a few tips to improve sleep, so you can live the healthiest, most productive life possible.
Watch the video below to hear from the Doc himself or keep reading for a summary of this weeks live video, Healthy Sleep Tips from the Doc.
Three Components of Healthy Sleep
There are three components of healthy sleep: quality, quantity, and consistency. To clarify, quality refers to sleep productivity, quantity refers to sleep duration, and consistency refers to the uniformity of specific sleep patterns.
Importantly, if just one of these elements is lacking, then sleep quality will also lack. Unfortunately, when your sleep quality suffers, so will other areas of your health, including both physical and mental wellness. As such, you should always try to optimize all three components of healthy sleep when your goal is productive rest.
5 Easy Tips to Improve Sleep Quality
Now that weve discussed the three pillars of healthy sleep, lets outline some tips you can use to improve sleep quality and, thus, your overall health and wellness.
Tip #1: Set Your Circadian Rhythm
The circadian cycle refers to the physical, mental, and behavioral activities that regulate sleep/wake times. Animals, plants, and even microbes have circadian cycles, which respond primarily to light changes and durations. For example, sunlight in the morning tells our bodies that its time to wake, while darkness has the opposite effect.
Importantly, your sleep/wake cycle responds to all light, not just sunlight. As such, you can easily adjust your circadian cycle by adjusting your exposure to different light sources. For example, basking in sunlight within 30 minutes after you wake can increase early-morning alertness. Likewise, limiting light exposure (especially blue light like phones and computers) at least an hour or two before bedtime can help your body transition back to sleep.
Tip #2: Exercise During the Day (But Not at Night)
There are many health benefits associated with exercise, including its ability to improve sleep quality. Specifically, exercise helps reduce daytime sleepiness and speeds sleep onset time at night and may reduce reliance on sleep medications. Additionally, exercise helps the body stay fit to reduce obesity and the likelihood of developing obstructive sleep apnea.
Bearing this in mind, the timing of your exercise matters, too. Thats because exercising releases endorphins which may be too stimulating for immediate rest thereafter. Exercise also raises body temperature which may impede sleep quality. As such, always try to exercise in the morning or afternoon and not less than two hours before bedtime.
Tip #3: Be Mindful of Your Food Intake
Choose what and when you eat carefully if you want to improve sleep quality. For example, spicy or acidic foods can cause heartburn which may make it difficult to fall asleep, as might caffeine if consumed too late in the day. On the other hand, some foods like almonds, kiwi, or chamomile tea, may help you fall asleep, instead. Just remember to keep pre-bedtime snacks small to avoid the extra strain on your metabolic system as you sleep.
Tip #4: Avoid Alcohol and Other Intoxicating Substances
It is not uncommon for people to enjoy a nightcap before bed (or consume THC-heavy cannabis) but doing so is not effective as a sleep aid. In fact, intoxicating substances can actually hinder your quality of sleep even if its quantity increases. Thats because many intoxicating substances slow your bodys ability to heal itself, which is basically the whole point of sleep in the first place. This is one reason you might feel extra sleepy after a night of drinking, even if after sleeping in longer than usual.
Tip #5 Destress or Minimize Stress Often
Studies suggest that people who are stressed dont sleep very well either. In fact, stress seems to affect all three pillars of healthy sleep by interfering with sleep quality, quantity, and consistency. This negative cycle means that people who are chronically stressed also feel more irritable, overwhelmed, impatient, and lethargic compared to people who have low to moderate stress levels.
These trends help highlight the importance of destressing to sleep better. Some tips you can use to destress include meditation and yoga, though pinpointing and omitting the source of the stress is always ideal.
When to Use Sleep Supplements
Despite all these tips to improve sleep quality, sometimes they just arent enough. If youve tried the tips listed above and still cant catch any Zs, then it may be time to supplement your sleep schedule with oral-based alternatives. For example, you might try melatonin or other natural sleep-boosting supplements or talk to your doctor about prescription sleep medications.
Having said that, we are also firm believers in the effectiveness of cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, and CBG. Importantly, these non-intoxicating hemp-based cannabinoids seem to improve all facets of healthy sleep. For example, they seem to speed up sleep onset time and extend the duration, improve sleep quality, and provide consistently predictable results, especially when used as part of a regular wellness routine.
Learn More From the Doc
If you want to feel your best, then you need a good night’s rest. Use these tips for more productive sleep or shop our selection of hemp-based cannabinoid products to start feeling better fast.
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