Do you wake up feeling groggy? Can you only make it halfway through your day before you start to feel sluggish and sleepy? These are signs of poor sleep quality, a chronic situation much more serious than just about being in a fog after one night of tossing and turning.
People with consistent sleep troubles are at risk for a substantial decrease in their mental and physical health and well-being. Some people turn to medications, and that can sometimes be the only way to get relief. But those cases are rare. It’s more likely that you can enjoy a good night’s sleep by making some simple changes in your behavior. Here’s how.
Enhance Your Sleep with the Right Technology
Our digital dependencies can certainly have a negative impact on sleep, but we can also use their power for good. Instead of scrolling through social media while lying in bed, use your smartphone to help you relax into sleep with the following apps.
- Calm: With soothing bedtime stories for both kids and adults, this app can help your mind unwind and prepare for sleep.
- Stop, Breathe, and Think: This app can help you create a gentle bedtime routine that relaxes your muscles with yoga, slows down your body with deep breathing, and calms your mind with meditation practices.
- Sleep Cycle: You can track your sleep patterns with this app to help you find the optimal time to fall asleep and wake up.
If you decide to try out these apps or any others, be sure your phone can handle the increase in data usage. Some of the popular tracking apps, like Sleep Time and SnoreLab, run all night.
Stay on Top of Your Oral Health
Having healthy teeth and gums can go a long way toward helping you achieve better sleep. Not only can grinding your teeth keep you awake at night (and cause severe damage to your teeth), but misaligned teeth can cause or complicate problems such as sleep apnea. Take the following steps if you want to keep your dental health in tip-top shape.
- Make sure you’re brushing and flossing your teeth before you turn in for bed. Skipping the nighttime brushing can cause plaque to build up overnight, which can lead to problems such as gum disease and cavities.
- If you suffer from acid reflux, make sure that you’re taking steps to prevent it, such as reviewing your diet (especially what you eat at night!) and selecting a toothpaste and mouthwash designed for sensitive teeth.
- If misaligned teeth are causing you problems at night (snoring or sleep apnea), there are at-home options that can help. Carefully review the different options (Byte and Invisalign, for example) to weigh the pros and cons of each (affordability, the time it takes to see results, etc.) in order to make the best decision for you.
Improve Sleep Quality with CBD Oils
Many studies have touted the health benefits of CBD oil, especially when it comes to sleep. Many people with sleep issues due to chronic pain find relief from the antiinflammatory side effects of CBD oil. With a smaller risk of dependency, CBD oil is a recommended sleep aid for people who have both short-term and long-term sleep challenges. Medical research has also shown it can help ease sleep apnea. When using CBD oil for sleep keep in mind.
- You’re not going to experience the same kind of “high” associated with marijuana. While both CBD and THC come from the cannabis plant, they are two different chemical compounds resulting in very different benefits and experiences.
- You can use the oils in a variety of ways. You can smoke or vape the oil for a more immediate effect, or you can ingest it if you want to slowly fall asleep. If chronic pain is the culprit, rub a CBD cream or lotion on the more sensitive areas.
Get Better ZZZs by Getting Active
It may seem counterproductive, but exercise is one of the most effective ways to boost your sleep. Yes, exercise does energize, but it also wears you down. Your body knows the best way to build yourself back up is to get good, restful sleep. When you push your body more, your body needs more restful sleep to recover. Adults should do a minimum of two and a half hours of exercise each week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
You can accomplish this by:
- Taking a 30-minute morning jog five days a week.
- Participating in two 60-minute fitness classes at the gym, followed by 15-minutes of strength training.
- Take your dog for a one-hour walk twice a week and one 30-minute jog.
- Ride your bike to and from work two days a week.
The chronic discomfort that comes from a lack of sleep is a debilitating daily distraction that can damage your ability to work, play, be healthy, and happy. If you’re experiencing sleepless nights, explore one of these tried-and-true solutions and you just may find relief.
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