Guest Post | Best Tips To Improve Sleep And Recharge Energy Levels

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

When was the last time you jumped out of bed fully replenished and ready to take on all the challenges the day has in store for you? If your answer is “This morning”, you can stop reading here; but if you belong to the more populous camp of morning haters, you have come to the right page.

According to recent studies, insomnia afflicts 20-40% of adults every year, so you are not alone in your Zzzz-related woes. Unfortunately, energy lows are not the only negative side-effect of sleep deprivation: circadian rhythm disruptions are linked to increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, memory glitches, hormonal misbalance, cognitive problems, and depression. Still, there are a few simple ways to banish the bogeyman of sleep disorders and restore serenity to your nightly shuteye.

1. Aromatherapy: The scent of peaceful dreams
Aromatherapy is not used to combat stress only: in fact, some fragrant oils can help you fall asleep faster and improve rest quality. For a short route to slumberland, spray a few drops of clary sage, lavender, or chamomile oil to your linens or add them to your bedtime bath. Now that is a scent peaceful dreams are made of!

2. Massage: Rub the Zzzs in
Have you ever nodded off halfway through a massage? Deep, Swedish, and trigger-point massage calm the nervous system and promote relaxation essential for healthy sleep. Self-massage can do the trick equally well: gently rub your back, neck, legs, and abdomen every night before turning in, and you will soon be dozing off faster and waking up thoroughly refreshed in the morning.

3. Hot bath: Warm up for a pillow session
Make hot baths a part of your bedtime ritual for your sleep’s sake. Hot water will temporarily increase your body temperature and blood flow, but as soon as its effects begin to wear off, your body will switch to the shutdown mode, causing you to nod off.

4. Conscious breathing: Breathe in the slumber
Conscious breathing enhances relaxation and steadies the heart rate, so set aside 10-20 minutes before hitting the sack for deep breathing practice. If your mind refuses to collaborate in the Better sleep project, consider visiting a spiritual retreat where you would get a chance to de-stress, spend quality time outdoors, learn stress management skills and restore balance to your daily life.

5. A light dinner: Say No to late-night fridge raids
Midnight fridge marauders are a sleepless lot, so opt for a light evening snack instead of a four-course meal before pillow-time. A late-night meal consisting of acidic, spicy, or protein-rich food will shatter your drowsiness, but dairy products high in L tryptophan will increase the likelihood of a replenishing sleep session.

6. Healthy pre-bed habits: Shake the addiction
Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine are well-known sleep snatchers because they stimulate the nervous system and keep sleepiness at bay. You should avoid the fatal trio or minimize daily intake of the substances if you are set on solid slumber. 

7. Comfortable dreams: Snugness for sleep success
Can your bed be robbing you of sleep? Uncomfortable mattresses are a disaster in the making for both sleep and spinal health, so investing in ergonomic bedding may just be the change you need to fall asleep faster.

8. The anatomy of slumber: The right sleeping position
People who suffer from apnea often have a hard time falling asleep on their back, so if you find yourself sleepless in Bedhattan, try experimenting with different sleeping positions until you find the one that feels most natural for you.

9. Disconnect: No screens at bedtime
Light-emitting devices such as laptops, iPads, and smartphones are a sound sleep’s worst enemy as they suppress melatonin and arouse the nervous system. Before turning in, try reading a real book, stretch gently, meditate, or take a walk – just avoid staring at the screen for your dreams’ sake. 

10. Sweat it out: Physical exercise for better sleep
If you are too tense to go to sleep, it may be a good idea to sweat stress out first. Cycling, yoga, pilates, jogging, walking, and similar exercises will calm your nervous system, increase blood flow, and boost your sleep quality.

Dozing off already? Sweet dreams!

This is a (first ever on Arraday!) guest post written by the lovely Nicole Noel. As a biomedical science student, I absolutely love the fact that she cited some articles from PubMed and other scientific journals. It means that her tips are the real deal, guys! I hope you enjoyed reading her article like I did. I surely could use some of these tips to improve my sleep :')

About the author:
Nicole is an avid traveler and yoga aficionado passionate about healthy living, interior design and fashion. She's a contributor to several lifestyle blogs and editor at HighStyleLife magazine.

You can find Nicole here: Google+ | Twitter (@noeldnicole) | Facebook

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