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How To Achieve Quality and Sufficient Amount of Sleep, According to Experts

Our body after daily routines needs rest. However, the body and mind are still at work during sleep for important processes. According to research studies, sleep helps to speed up the absorption of nutrients and amino acids into the cells.This wholesome activity is due to the prominence of the growth hormones which also stimulate the bone marrow where the immune cells are produced. It is therefore extremely important to set a right amount and quality of sleep.

 "We have 50 years of data showing that people who sleep between seven and eight hours live the longest. That relationship doesn't seem to change too much with age," says psychologist Michael Grandner, PhD, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona.

"Lower-quality sleep is associated with cognitive problems, as well as a whole host of physical problems," says Thomas Neylan, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies sleep's role in metabolic health, cognitive function and neurodegenerative disorders.

However, the busy life oftentimes shortens the span of time to have a good sleep. Many people have only 2-4 hours of sleep (instead of 8 hours or more). Does busyness mean good to your health and life as a whole? In most cases, it is layered with negative and egotistical attachments. Worst, it limits you from enjoying real things that can stimulate a better living.

Busyness Destroys Quality Sleep and Health, Even Your Life

  • too busy to give more than 10 minutes to your precious morning meditation.
  • too busy to prepare nourishing food for yourself.
  • too busy to pick up the phone and call someone you love for no reason at all.
  • too busy to be fully present in your life.
  •  too busy to prepare a right amount and quality of sleep.

If so, note down the risks associated with insufficient sleep.

  • It creates impairment to your body as drinking 2-3  alcoholic beverages.
  • You will feel "fatigue"  which negatively impacts by 20-50% on your: reaction time, communication, attention and vigilance, and mood.
  • May cause accidents on the road while driving.(More than 6,000 deadly car crashes a year are caused by drowsy driving, according to AAA).
  • Triggers depression
  • Makes you forgetful
  • Weight gain
  • You will suffer poor judgment

When insufficient amount of sleep gets worse and becomes chronic, you are at greater risks of developing the following alarming health conditions:

  • hypertension
  • heart disease
  • obesity
  • susceptibility to bacteria and viruses
  • mood disorders
  • stroke
  • diabetes
  • reduced sex drive (men will have low testosterone levels)
  • cognitive decline and Alzheimers disease

You might like to read: The Four Leading Metabolism Myths You Should Avoid to Achieve a Long-Termed Weightloss

Natural Remedies to Help You Sleep Better

It is best to apply natural remedies for your sleep disorder or insufficient sleeps. However, be advised that natural or herbal products should be taken for short-termed purposes, particularly if there are side-effects observed. Still, consulting a doctor is a must for health assurance.

  1. Drink camomile tea
  2. Take natural supplements  that contain any of the following:
  • Melatonin: a sleep-inducer hormone. 
  • Ginkgo biloba: aids in sleep, relaxation and stress reduction. Take 250 mg, 30–60 minutes before bed (51, 52).
  • Glycine:  take 3 grams of the amino acid glycine can improve sleep quality (53, 54, 55).
  • Valerian root:  helps you to fall asleep and improve sleep quality. Take 500 mg before bed (56, 57, 58).
  • Magnesium: improves relaxation and enhance sleep quality (59, 60, 61).
  • L-Theanine: Take 100–200 mg before heading to bed (62, 63, 64).
  • Lavender: A powerful plant-based supplement with many health benefits. It can induce a calming and sedentary-like effect to improve sleep. Take 80–160 mg containing 25–46% linalool (65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71).

10 Techniques that Boost Quality and Amount of Sleep

  • Do something you love but non-stimulating activities  for 20 minutes before going to bed (ex. yoga, meditation).

“Most sleep problems are related to stress, and dealing with stress is really important," says Frank Lipman, MD. "I usually recommend some type of meditation practice or breathing technique."

  • Optimize your bedtime environment. Make it dark to increase melatonin, check the temperature, and turn off all the gadgets.

"Too many people forget to optimize their sleep environment, and it has a real detrimental effect on their rest, says Cralle. "Turn off all the screens and sit with a cup of tea or a notebook in dim light," she suggests.

"Aim for somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit," says Dr. Christopher Winter, M.D.

  • Train your inner biological clock by determining your time to sleep and stick to your bedtime schedule. 
  • Boost your melatonin by consulting with a doctor prior to thinking of sleeping pills. This hormone is responsible for body’s circadian rhythm, or internal biological clock. It is produced in the brain’s pineal gland.
  • Take in something rich in tryptophan, an amino acid, as it enduces drowsiness. You may drink milk, eat eggs, and peanuts. and  combine it with carbs to enter your brain efficiently.

 "Even smaller snacks can provide a tryptophan dose that studies have shown to be significant in helping with sleep," Alissa Rumsey says, MS, RD, founder of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness.

  • Read before bedtime, at least 20 minutes,  if you don't like taking hotbath and meditations. However, make reading in lighter way that it doesn't stimulate your emotions and intellect.
  • Manage well your daytime naps. Make it as short as 30 minutes or less to empower your brain. Having  longer naps in the day can interfere quality sleep in the night and cause daytime drowsiness according to studies.
  • Have a high carb meal 4 hours before going to sleep. It helps to fall asleep faster according to studies. In one study, a low carb diet can  also improve sleep.
  • Pull a clean pair of socks before turning in. According to 1999 study, the warm hands and feet help you to fall asleep quickly.
  • Avoid  mint-packed toothpaste or  tea with lemon because the scent causes mental stimulation and increase energy level.

Conclusion

Our body is designed to enjoy quality sleep to restore back the srengths and energy. In fact. mounting evidence shows that lack of sleep fuels inflammation, the main responsible for a variety of diseases.  Those who sleep less than six hours or more than eight hours of sleep per night had more inflammatory markers in their blood which can be fatal over time(Sleep, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2015).

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