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Sweat it Out: Better Sleep

As we get older, sleep becomes less of a priority in our lives, and we begin thinking that we can function on less amounts of sleep.

While we all know that a good night’s sleep is important, we usually don’t make it a priority. You know exactly what I mean. We stay up late watching our favorite shows. We can’t stop scrolling or playing a game long enough to fall asleep. We stay up late working on those deadlines. And more often we are not getting the recommended amounts of sleep each night.

But the truth is that sleep should be a priority in our lives.

It is recommended that the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night to function properly; however the exact number can change depending on the individual.

Do you depend on coffee to make it through each day? Do you have trouble getting out of bed each morning? Do you crave junk food throughout the day? Do you feel sleepy throughout the day? Are you irritable or unable to concentrate? Do you lack motivation?

If you answered yes to several of these questions, chances are you are not getting enough sleep. Actually, most of us don’t even know what it feels like to be completely rested anymore.

Let’s take a look at some things we can do in order to ensure that we can get better and perhaps more sleep.

Set a routine.

Try to create a routine of going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time regardless of the day. You could also create a routine of doing relaxing things before bed, such as: taking a bath, putting on lotion, using essential oils, prayer or meditation, anything that helps you to relax.

Power down.

Make it a point to turn off or silence all of your devices. Tell yourself once you are ready for bed that you do not need to look at them anymore until morning. You do not need to look at your phone every time is it lights up or every time you wake up. If it’s an emergency, they will find another way to get ahold of you. You know all it takes is one look for you to get sucked in.

Watch what you eat and drink before bed.

Avoid coffee, tea, or anything caffeinated after 5pm. Try not to snack too late at night. In fact, it is best for the body to eat a smaller dinner, earlier in the night. Eating too much, too late can have negative effects on your sleep.

Exercise.

Do your best to include exercise in your daily activities. Exercise is a great way to not only burn some extra calories, but when adding it to your daily routine can help you not only fall asleep faster, but also help you to sleep better.

Reduce alcohol intake.

Alcohol is known to cause and/or increase sleep apnea and snoring and it can disrupt sleeping patterns. By reducing your alcohol intake, you may begin to find that you can sleep better.

Comfortable bedding.

This part probably goes without saying, but makes sure that your bedding is comfortable. If it isn’t comfortable, you are less likely to get a good night’s sleep.

We need to start making sleep a priority again. Sleep is not only essential to functioning properly each day, it is essential to our health.

About Kristen Pearce

I am passionate about health and fitness. I am a certified Insanity, PiYo and Cize Instructor, and I offer classes throughout the week in Abaco. I host Nutrition Challenges a few times a year that are open to all.

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