5 Tips for a Better Night's Rest
Dr. Craig Hudson, MD | May 31, 2016
How frustrating it can be to lay in bed, tossing, turning and not being able to hit the hay. Whether your brain is on full speed or you just can’t seem to get comfortable, the longer you lay there, the more frustrated you become. We have all been there, and it is not fun. We have put together a few tips for a better night’s rest:
1. Keep Your Feet and Hands Warm
Do you suffer from perpetually chilly hands and feet? If you do, consider slipping on some comfy socks before you head to bed. Research has shown that the heat loss we experience through our extremities, like our hands and feet, can have a significant impact on how quickly we fall asleep. Be sure to look for socks or gloves that are breathable. Too much heat can lead to sweating, which can be disruptive to your sleep.
2. Get Some Morning Sunshine
According to the medical community, light can help sync up the body’s biological rhythms to the earth’s rotation. With the invention of artificial light, our internal body clocks have been thrown off kilter. To re-establish set waking and sleeping times, get some time in the sun as soon as you wake up. This exposure to sunlight will you help feel alert and more awake, and come nightfall you’ll find yourself feeling tired, as if you’re on a schedule.
3. Snacking With Tryptophan
The negative impact of low-levels of serotonin and melatonin on our sleep cycles is a well-documented fact at this point. The production of both of these hormones relies on the amino acid tryptophan. Eating more foods that are high in tryptophan can boost the quality of your sleep. A great source of tryptophan is pumpkin seeds. About 100 grams of pumpkin seeds can have up to 600mg of tryptophan. Get your own yummy supply of tryptophan with our RestBites. They’re loaded with pumpkin seed powder and coated in a delectable chocolate coating.
Other foods that have natural sources of tryptophan include nuts, seeds, tofu, turkey, fish, oats, beans, lentils and eggs.
4. Keep a Journal
If you’re a bit of a worrywart, consider keeping a journal or a small notebook and pen on your bedside table. Before you go to sleep, write down everything that’s on your mind. Writing down your worries can help you work through the anxieties that are keeping you up. It can provide a form of cathartic release. Keeping a journal is also a great way to note down all of the new ideas that always seem to strike you just as your head hits the pillow. Instead of attempting to block out your racing brain, write it all down and set it aside for the following day.
5. Turn Down the Sound, Within Reason
Naturally, a noisy environment isn’t exactly conducive to sleeping soundly, but you might be surprised to know a completely silent environment can be equally disruptive. During the night, you cycle through various stages of sleep, and a few of those stages can be pretty light. In an environment completely devoid of noise, even the sound of breathing can be enough to jar you awake during the lighter stages. To create ambient noise that can muffle unexpected disruptions, some people use a white noise machine or play soothing music with the volume turned down very low.