When the girls from The Golden Girls couldn’t sleep, they’d gather around the kitchen table and devour an entire cheesecake. The tasty treat seemed to do the trick, giving the girls time to resolve any issues responsible for their insomnia and lull them off to dreamland.
Solving sleep issues aren’t as simple in real life, which likely is a good thing or there’d be a national cheesecake shortage. Though solving sleep woes isn’t as simple as devouring cheesecake, there are practical ways to stop counting sheep at night and get the deep sleep your body and mind need to rejuvenate and be at their best.
How a Lack of Sleep Affects You
Staying up to watch a movie or for an exciting night on the town may seem harmless, although the reality is much different. Our body needs sleep. It rejuvenates our bodies and our mental well-being. When we do not get enough sleep, the impact can make us sick. Brain fog, memory lapses, weight gain, poor decision-making skills, and other problems often occur when our body needs sleep.
Sleep deprivation can also affect our health and overall well-being.
- Weight Woes: Lack of sleep can interfere with hunger hormones, leading to increased cravings and overeating. When sleepy or tired, our brains focus on other enjoyable activities, such as eating. Weight gain and sleep deprivation go hand-in-hand.
- Immune Health: A weakened immune system is one significant consequence of poor sleep, yet it affects many individuals who do not follow the advice from the American Sleep Association and do not sleep the recommended seven to nine hours per night. Weak immune systems make us prone to illnesses like colds and cases of flu.
- Skin Health: Until walking around looking as though you’ve cried eight days straight is trendy, you want to get enough rest every night. Sleep deprivation takes its toll on skin health and can lead to signs such as dark circles and bags underneath the eyes, dull skin, dry skin, pronounced wrinkles, and other concerns.
- Mental Health Woes: Sleep deprivation can lead to anxiety, stress, sadness, and depression. Dealing with such problems can be a barrier in life. Stop them before they start by getting more sleep every night.
Kick Sleep Deprivation in the ZZZs: 7 Expert-Backed Tips for Better Sleep
Are you one of the three people the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports do not get enough sleep each night?
Failing to get the recommended amount of sleep per night can detrimentally affect our overall health and well-being. Getting the recommended hours of shut-eye each night is easy for people who implement the following ideas into their agendas.
1. Go Black in Time
Life was simpler before the Internet, smartphones and other technology came about. Unplug and disconnect all your devices before bedtime, even the iPhone. (Put up the iPad, too, you aren’t fooling anyone.) Your body needs time to disconnect from the day to drift off into that deep REM sleep we need. Shutting down television, social media, and other forms of technology gives your brain time to disconnect and rejuvenate.
2. Improve Sleep With All-Natural Sleep Aids
All-natural sleep aids like the delicious drinks LifeAid sells provide nourishment, stress relief, and other benefits that help users simmer down for a good night of sleep after a long and exciting day. The sleep aid drinks promote a sleep cycle with nourishing ingredients. Since the drinks are all-natural, there are no harmful side effects to deal with later!
3. Live Like a Vampire
Blackout curtains are life. They block out all signs of outside light, giving you the freedom to live your secret life like that undead vampire. Yes, pretend you are light-sensitive and avoid it like the plague when the sun goes down and comes up in the morning! Stock up on the cloves of garlic before planning your bedtime ritual, a topic we will discuss momentarily. Patience, my dear friend.
4. Perform Bedtime Rituals
No, we don’t suggest any Thaipusam or Famadihama-type rituals before bedtime, but we do recommend implementing a schedule you follow two hours before bedtime. As recommended above, go black two hours before your scheduled bedtime. No TV, no phone, no technology! Turn lights low and change into comfortable sleepwear. Then, read a book or do other low-energy activities. Turn this into a ritual you follow nightly and soon you’ll notice drifting off to sleep is much easier.
5. Exercise During the Day
Aim to exercise at least 30 minutes daily, mixing low and high-impact activities that benefit the entire body. When you aren’t exercising, complete activities that keep your body in motion, whether you’re shaking your booty while cleaning the house or outside playing kickball with your kids. When you’re active during the day, falling asleep at night is much easier.
6. Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
Alcohol disrupts the normal sleep cycle. Although intoxication causes us to dose off quickly, we normally wake when the alcohol wears off. Falling asleep again may be next to impossible, although we may feel horrible suffering from hangover symptoms. Avoid alcohol if you want a good night’s sleep. Otherwise, expect a no-holds bar when it’s time to catch your ZZZs.
7. Don’t Hang Out in the Bedroom
Your bedroom is a restful, relaxing place. Do not treat it otherwise by hanging out on the bed when you don’t intend to sleep. Your bedroom shouldn’t be treated as The Netflix Center, the friend’s lounge, or purposes aside from sleep. A bedroom used for reasons aside from sleep confuses the mind, and it cannot differentiate between sleep and play.
The ZZZs are in Your Hands: Get More Sleep
Sleep is critical to our health and well-being. From mental health to weight, sleep, or a lack thereof, significantly impacts our lives. Adhere to the American Sleep Association guidelines and aim to get more sleep. Implement the tips above into your sleep agenda and you’ll look and feel your absolute best as a well-slept individual, a rare breed these days.