Not all Sleep is Created Equal: Getting the Most Out of your Sacred Hours
There’s nothing quite like that first cup of coffee of the day. Or the second. Or the…third? Or was that third cup more out of necessity? If you’re like many of us, you may find yourself reaching for one too many cups of java on a daily basis. The obvious answer is to get more sleep, but how many of us are actively avoiding more shut-eye? Chances are, if you’re one of the many of us that could use a few extra hours of pillow time, there’s a good reason, and one you may not be able to avoid at the current time. But let’s not throw in the towel just yet. Instead of focusing on the quantity of hours, let’s focus on the quality of those precious hours of sleep.
That’s right, not all sleep is created equal. You may be doing your due diligence when it comes to squeezing in every hour of sleep you possibly can, but many people don’t know that there are ways to squeeze more out of each hour as well. Here are a few ways to get more bang for your bedtime buck.
Limit screen-time before bed. You may be aware that playing around on your computer or getting sucked in to the latest CSI marathon right before you’re supposed to put your thoughts to rest for the night can leave your mind racing at a pace that’s not quite conducive to a sudden halt, but there’s more to this tip than that. From a physiological standpoint, your mind is not the only thing left unprepared for sleep when too much screen time is involved. Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that exposure to light from a computer screen actually depletes the body’s reserve of melatonin, a key ingredient in creating the calm, restful sensation you need to put your mind at ease for the night.
Mind your meals. It seems to be common practice in this country to forget that food’s main purpose is to fuel and nourish the body. So much of the American diet consists of chemicals, sugar and saturated fats that it’s no wonder we’re having trouble sleeping. By eating well throughout the day, and incorporating just a few more strategic foods into your last meal, you’ll find yourself sleeping better, and waking up with renewed energy. Foods like fish, tart cherry juice and bananas help the body produce melatonin, a hormone known to induce sleep.
(Hungry during the night? Check out Savvy Rest’s Pinterest board for healthy midnight snacks!)
Detoxify your dreamland. Those coveted hours of sleep are coveted for a reason. No matter what else you try, there’s nothing that restores you and re-sets your body quite like a good night’s sleep. But what good is a good night’s sleep when what you’re sleeping on does more harm than good? Conventional mattresses are full of toxins that are off-gassed while you’re in your most vulnerable state. Making the switch to an organic mattress not only purifies your sleeping environment, leading to a more restorative night of sleep, but will allow you to retain your peace of mind, knowing that you made a smart investment in the health of yourself and your loved ones.
Instead of throwing your body into a viscous cycle of sleep-deprivation and over-caffeination, consider a more natural solution. In an era of chaos and over-compensation for the core truths that are often lacking, many people overlook the simplest solutions: a hard day’s work followed by a good night’s sleep is one of the most fulfilling paths to a rewarding life. So indulge in the natural balance you deserve, you won’t be disappointed.
Savvy Rest is an employee-owned organic mattress manufacturer in Charlottesville, Virginia.