Did you know that May is Better Sleep Month? Across the United States, millions of Americans struggle with poor sleeping habits that jeopardize their health. That’s why this important awareness month aims to encourage people to establish healthier sleep patterns.
Why Sleep Matters
Have you ever heard the phrases “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” or “Ain’t no rest for the wicked?” Unfortunately, quality sleep isn’t something that’s often celebrated in Western society. So many of us are taught to work ourselves to the extreme, even if it means cutting into our sleeping hours.
However, sleep affects nearly every biological process in our body. Most of us simply associate sleep with feelings of energy and/or fatigue — when, in fact, sleep is crucial for our overall health. Let’s take a glimpse at a few reasons for why sleep matters:
- It reduces stress, depression and anxiety
- It encourages creativity, concentration and memory
- It regulates our weight and metabolism
- It lowers blood pressure and increases heart health
- It boosts productivity and performance
- It boosts our immune system
- It reduces our risk for countless diseases
- And so much more!
How to Achieve Better Sleep
In the spirit of Better Sleep Month, we wanted to leave you with some solid tips that will not only improve your overall health, but help you reach your weight management goals. Here are a few “best practices” to keep in mind:
- Aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night
- Aim for quality over quantity. Refreshing sleep is key!
- Make your bedroom a “no technology” zone
- Build a routine and go to bed at the same time each night
- Relax and unwind before hitting the pillow
- Exercise often to promote quality sleep
- Eat a healthy diet rich with lean, whole foods
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine or caffeine before bed
- Sleep in your “optimal” environment – may include darkness, aromatherapy, etc.
- See your healthcare provider if sleep becomes a persistent problem