We already know that adequate sleep helps you feel rested and energized, but few are aware that it also comes with a number of other benefits: improved memory, more creative output, better focus, lowered stress levels, among others. "Sleep is a basic biological necessity -- just like eating -- and it has an impact on every aspect of your health and your life," Lawrence Epstein, MD, chief medical officer of Sleep HealthCenters, told Prevention.com. It is why experts recommend that adults get at least seven to nine hours of zzzs daily.
We know you're especially in bad need of sleep if you're a new mom, but have you ever had a night when adrenaline was still kicking in even while you were already in bed that you just could not get to sleep? A restless night results to a cranky mom in the morning, and that's not how you want to start off your day.
So how does one achieve deep slumber? Or maybe, the better question is, how do you prepare yourself for a restful night? We share with you these tips.
1. Sleep at the same time every day. Training your body to hit the sack at a certain time every night and to wake up the following morning at the same time regulates your body clock.
2. Have your last full meal for the day at least two hours before sleep. Make sure you're not too full, but don't go to bed hungry either. If you must have a bite, stick to a warm glass of milk and a slice of cheese, both rich in calcium, to make you feel calm.
Try:Jolly Cow Fresh Milk, which comes only from "happy cows" raised and bred in cow-friendly farms in Europe. It's a yummy source of energy and your daily calcium needs. Available at your favorite supermarkets.
3. Get rid of distractions, including gadgets. If you'd like a few minutes to unwind, a paperback would be a better option.
4. Clear your head. We often find ourselves making mental notes just as we're getting ready to sleep. I must remember to make an appointment with the pedia. The kitchen light needs to be fixed. We've run out of paper towels. Well, if your mind is in full gear, don't expect your body to slow down soon. To avoid being anxious, write down your thoughts before going to bed, then forget about them. Don't let them linger in your thoughts.
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Try: Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal, available at National Bookstore
5. Avoid a vigorous exercise routine four hours before bedtime, as it can interfere with sleep.
6. Induce sleep. The scent of lavender or chamomile oil can signal your body to relax and help you sleep soundly. Add a few drops of the essential oil to plain water and spray a few spritzes to your pillow or in your bedroom.
Try: Human Nature's Lavender Oil, a relaxing essential oil to calm your senses.
7. Invest in a good pillow. People often equate a restful sleep with a good mattress. But don't forget that it's also important to pick a pillow that provides neck support. Look for one that follows the body's natural contour to help maintain the correct alignment of your spine and neck.
Try:Sleepcare's Memory Comfort Pillow, which adjusts to your head’s weight and temperature and claims to reduce sleep apnea and snoring, minus the hefty price tag. You'll feel the difference when you wake up in the morning.