Updated: Jun 17
Getting enough sleep is essential to our overall health and wellbeing. When we miss out on sleep, it affects our physical health and mental capabilities. It can affect how we function, the way we view situations and how we communicate with others. For all these reasons and so much more, it is no wonder that a good night’s sleep is vital to a healthy body and proper brain function.
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How much sleep do you need?
The amount of sleep you need depends on your age, physical makeup and health. Generally children and teenagers need more sleep, about 9-10 hours, while adults usually need at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Not getting enough sleep can affect your mood, memory and health in far-reaching and surprising ways, says Johns Hopkins sleep researcher Patrick Finan, Ph.D
Tips for getting a good night’s sleep
Listen to Your Body
The body runs on a 24-hour circadian clock so it is important to listen to your internal sleep-wake cycle.
Starting a consistent sleep schedule starts with creating a sleep routine. It helps to go to sleep around the same time every night and waking up at a similar time every morning.
If you are feeling tired, listen to your body and go to bed. It's important to get rest when it is needed.
When waking up in the morning, exposure to sunshine (light) helps to keep your body clock on track.
Set The Right Environment
In order to sleep comfortably, it is important to create the right environment in your room. The right sleeping environment can help you to both prepare for bed and give you a deeper sleep.
Setting the right temperature in the room can create a comfortable setting.
Making sure it is dark enough can help eliminate distractions.
Quieting any distracting noise or using earplugs can eliminate unwanted sound.
Turning off electronics before bed can promote a deeper sleep. A study by researchers at Harvard Medical School found that the “blue wavelength light from LED-based devices (phones, tablets, computers) increases the release of cortisol in the brain, which makes us more alert, and inhibits the production of melatonin, which is needed to fall asleep.” To combat this, The National Sleep Foundation suggests turning your phone off at least 1 hour before bed. Reducing light in the room will allow for a natural release of melatonin.
Quiet the Mind
Restlessness and insomnia is often caused by over-thinking before bed. For this reason, it is important to quiet the mind before going to bed.
Mild or light exercise, like yoga, can help connect your body to its natural circadian rhythm and prepare the body for sleep. According to a National Survey, over 55% of people said that yoga helped them sleep better at night. Over 85% of people said that yoga helped reduce their stress.
It helps to set aside time before bed to wind down from the day. A method that can help with this is mindfulness meditation. A study conducted by Jama Internal Medicine found that people who practiced mindfulness had reduced insomnia, fatigue, and depression.
Consider Natural Sleep Aids
Still having trouble sleeping at night? Although many medications can be detrimental to your mental health over time, there are natural sleeping supplements and herbs that can be taken.
Magnesium is a mineral that naturally occurs in the body and is important for heart health and brain function. Research shows that insufficient levels of magnesium can cause a lack of sleep or insomnia. Studies show that taking magnesium can have a relaxing effect on the body because of its ability to regulate melatonin, a natural hormone that maintains the body’s sleep cycle.
Lavender has a soothing scent that is believed to help promote sleep. In fact, several studies show that smelling lavender 30 minutes before sleep and improve the quality of sleep.
Studies suggest that CBD can help with relaxing the body and promoting a better quality sleep, while also helping to regulate the body’s natural sleep cycle. CBD may be used to reduce many symptoms relating to insomnia. The natural remedy is thought to help reduce anxiety or over-thinking before bed that can cause insomnia or poor sleep quality. Studies suggest that CBD will also reduce symptoms of pain or aches in the body that can inhibit sleep.
A great all-natural CBD oil for sleep is Zen Drops CBD Tincture Sleep Formula. It is made with the highest quality non-GMO, 99%+ pure CBD and organic MCT oil infused with organic herbs including Lavender, Passion Flower and Valerian Root.