We all know getting a full night's rest is important. It can seem hard, but if we understand what affects our sleep, solving insomnia gets easier.
Whether the reason is anxiety, depression, pain, or some other factor, about 50 to 70 million Americans experience some form of insomnia, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Even something as simple as changing the clocks for daylight-saving time can interfere with sleep patterns. It can make you fall short of the eight hours necessary to be creative and energetic—and to keep your immune system functioning properly.
Why do you need at least seven to eight hours of sleep? REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which takes place throughout the night, occurs for the longest periods at the end of the sleep cycle.
According to Hyla Cass, MD, that’s when “the brain replenishes its supply of neurotransmitters, such as noradrenaline and serotonin, which are crucial for new learning and retention as well as for mood.”
If you’re sleep deprived, try these simple steps for snoozing.
It’s important to establish a sleep routine and stick to it.
Increase your intake of edibles high in vitamin B complex (nutritional yeast, egg yolks, fish, wheat germ, legumes, and whole grains) and vitamin C (dark, leafy greens and tart fruits).
These vitamins help in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, so a good B complex supplement along with at least 200 mg of vitamin C is sleep insurance.
A calcium/magnesium supplement can also be effective for relaxing tense muscles.
Besides toning your body, exercise is good for your mind.