It’s important to get a good night’s sleep because sleep plays and important role in your physical and emotional health. While you sleep, your body performs important functions like clearing toxins from the brain and repairing your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to all kinds of ailments such as an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more.
Things that Could be Keeping You From a Good Night’s Sleep
1) Your Sleep Gear
It may be somewhat obvious, but as materials age, your mattress and/or pillow, may not be supporting you as needed. The typical lifespan of a mattress is 7-8 years. And even though it may not be that old, it may not support you as needed. If there is any doubt, consider replacing your mattress with a non-toxic mattress. You don’t want a conventional mattress that is full of chemicals.
Your pillow supports the part of the spine that is your neck so that there is no bend or muscle tightness in your neck while you sleep. A pillow that is too thick or too thin will put your cervical spine out of alignment. That’s likely to lead to neck pain and upper back pain. So make sure your pillow properly supports your neck and that is comfortable for you.
If your body is experiencing inflammation, it may be causing enough discomfort that it wakes you up at night. Inflammation can be caused by a multitude of things such as an injury, allergies, an illness, or disease. Remember though, inflammation is part of the body’s healing process, it is it’s way of repairing damaged cells and tissues. So, not all inflammation is bad.
To get a good night’s sleep, it is important to address the cause of the inflammation and treat it accordingly.
3) The Right Amount of Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle can result in more pain and stiffness in the morning, and throughout the day. At the same time, over-exercising can result in inflammation and insomnia. Pay attention to your body and how you feel. Getting out in nature and taking a good walk is almost always beneficial. In addition to the gentle exercise of walking, the Vitamin D you generate due to sunlight exposure is a plus.
4) Sleep Hygenics
This is probably not a new term to you. It is now known that light inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone that naturally promotes sleep. So avoid night lights and lights from electronic devices. Some people are extremely sensitive to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). EMFs emanate from cell phones, computers, cell towers, WiFi, and all wireless devices. Also be aware of smart meters. Try to eliminate those sources of potentially sleep disrupting electronic fields.
5) Electronics and Blue Light
Light from electronic devices is “short-wavelength-enriched,” meaning it has a higher concentration of blue light than natural light—and blue light affects levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin more than any other wavelength. So either discontinue the use of electronics at least 30 minutes prior to bed time or use red tinted glasses to negate the effects of the blue light. Some people use those glasses through out the day to further reduce the effects of blue light.