The benefits of sleep are endless. It improves overall health, productivity, well-being, resilience, and quality of life. Getting adequate sleep means 7-8 hrs a night, deep and disruption free on a consistent basis. Sound like a tall order? The secret to quality sleep actually begins when we wake up in the morning!
It’s always a good time to improve our sleep hygiene. By making small adjustments, starting when we wake up through to lights out, we can gradually set ourselves up for better health.
We’ve been under increased stress and isolation for the last several years. Chronic stress can cause chronic disease. Lack of sleep adds fuel to the fire and makes coping with stress that much more difficult.
Sleep is our time to rest and repair. When we sleep, our immune system gets to relax too. Lack of sleep can activate pro-inflammatory activity throughout the body. Inflammation, an immune response, can build up as our immune system becomes overactive. Inflammation impairs mental and physical performance and can contribute to metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.
6 ways to improve sleep hygiene:
- Get outside. By exposing ourselves to daylight upon waking, we support circadian rhythm, the system responsible for feeling alert during the day and tired at night. Starting your day on the right foot means ending on the right one as well!
- Avoid afternoon caffeine. We all enjoy the ritual of a warm beverage but often reach for caffeine for that afternoon lift. The problem is that stimulants in the afternoon can throw off circadian rhythm and blood sugar. Try a caffeine-free alternative such as herbal tea or one of the many new mushroom beverages on the market instead!
- Eat carbohydrate-heavy meals earlier in the day and avoid them close to bedtime. Sleep can be disrupted when our blood sugar spikes. One way to help avoid this is by incorporating carbohydrates into our meals earlier in the day. Try eating a dinner that is a mix of protein, non-starchy vegetables and good fats and see how it impacts the quality of your sleep.
- Instead of TV, play a game or read a book. Choosing an evening activity that doesn’t expose us to screens and blue light ensures we don’t disrupt our circadian rhythm which can prevent us from getting deep, restful sleep.
- Turn down the temperature to improve the quality of your sleep. Do your hydro bill and health a favour and turn the thermostat down to 16-20 degrees Celsius for a cool, comfortable sleep. Sleeping in a cool room naturally helps improves melatonin production, helping you fall asleep faster and reach deeper sleep.
- Create a bedtime ritual. Try meditation, yoga, gentle stretching, or simply deep breathing. Keep the lights low and create a soothing atmosphere with a diffuser or calming essential oil mist on your linens. A consistent evening routine will remind your brain and body that it’s time for bed.
Sometimes we need a little supplemental help to complement lifestyle adjustments. Health First Sleep Supreme contains nutrients and herbs that help to bring your body into an optimal state for sleep:
- PharmaGABA® is a fermented form of the neurotransmitter responsible for calming neuron firing and encouraging mental relaxation.
- Inositol helps to regulate blood sugar, reducing the risk of being woken by a blood sugar spike!
- Magnesium bisglycinate calms the mind by relaxing the body.
- Passionflower is a herbal sleep aid that helps to alleviate restlessness and nervousness, especially during times of mental stress.
- Jujube is a fruit used largely in traditional Chinese medicine for its sedative properties.
One thing that Health First Sleep Supreme is missing is melatonin: we kept melatonin out of the formula as it may cause daytime drowsiness, and no one needs that at this busy time of year!
Getting proper sleep is critical for good health, and it can’t be achieved by supplements alone. To support proper sleep, we formulated our Sleep Supreme to be paired with our Calming Mist. By pairing the correct supplements with some key lifestyle modifications, you can be on the road to better sleep and better overall health in no time!