Are you hitting snooze on your alarm more frequently? Time normally spent in the morning getting dressed, packing lunches and commuting is being saved as many of us are still quarantining at home – so why not sleep a bit later? But are you still struggling to get out of bed in the morning and get your day started?
Chronic fatigue and decreased energy levels can also be caused by prolonged stress. And if there’s one thing we can all agree on – current times are definitely stressful. Stress can keep you awake at night as your mind plays all your worries and anxieties on repeat.
Sleep plays an important role in your physical and mental health though. Poor sleep is linked to an increased risk for obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and depression.
Just like your phone charges each night for reliable use the next day, your body needs to charge or it will start to break down – in more ways than one! You can buy a new phone battery if you don’t take care of it, but you cannot buy a new body.
The good news is that once you improve your sleeping habits, many other areas of your health will start to improve as well. For example, choosing the right foods, engaging in physical activity and concentrating at work will become much easier. When we don’t get enough sleep, we don’t have enough energy. When the body doesn’t have enough energy for the demands of the day, it will start to crave low-quality, processed foods because these foods have quick-release energy.
Brian Sanderoff RPh., director of the Well Being Healing Center and Holistic Pharmacy in Hunt Valley, Maryland, states “the reason sleep is so important is because it is when we are asleep that we create Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH is thought to be the “anti-aging” hormone; and is responsible for muscle building, tissue regeneration, liver regeneration, the breakdown of fat cells and blood sugar regulation.”
How much sleep we need varies between individuals but generally changes as we age. The National Institutes of Health suggests that adults need 7-8 hours each night. Here are 6 tips for better sleep.
- Sleep in a completely dark room.
- Cool down the room, 68 degrees or below is ideal.
- No screens (TV or mindless scrolling on your phone) 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Adopt a bedtime ritual.
- Find ways to handle stress or worry.
- Meditate before going to bed each night. Listen to the sleep and relaxation meditations in the incentaHEALTH app.
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