Sleep Hack: 3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Health
Did you know that sleep may be one of the most significant factors in weight loss, more even than diet and exercise? Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to our body’s self-regulation, affecting each and every one of our systems. Sleep is a time when our cells can work on repair and restoration, clearing the way for a healthy next day. Follow the following advise and enrich your life.
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland of the brain that is responsible for regulating sleep cycles. It plays an instrumental role in signaling time of day and time of year, helping to regulate our body’s internal clock. If we want to sleep well and get a health improvement, we must care for our melatonin!
Studies have shown that blue light emitted by screens (TV, computer, phone) suppresses melatonin levels making it more difficult to fall asleep. (Red lights, however, are the least likely to suppress melatonin levels, so if you have sleep difficulties you may want to look into a red light for your bedside. Red light is a good option for before bed lights and nightlights.)
Tip: Close or put away your phone, computer, and t.v. at least two hours prior to going to sleep. This will help your body get into a natural melatonin-secretion cycle. Keeping a regular sleep schedule (going to bed and waking up at the same time) will also aid melatonin production.
Engaging in activities that help regulate and lower stress is essential! Melatonin levels increase just before bed and begin to suppress as you wake up. Cortisol, a stress hormone operates on the opposite cycle, decreasing just before bed and increasing as you wake up. This means that if you are experiencing higher levels of stress, these two hormones will become misaligned, significantly compromising your quality of sleep.
To sum it up!
Ways to Improve Your Health:
1. Turn off all screens two hours before bed! This is a great time to read a book, journal, knit. or practice yoga at home.
2. Set a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
3. Find healthy ways to manage stress and help your hormones.