Sleeping is now a specialty that is much vaunted with sleep experts being staffed full time by professional sports teams. You need not be an athlete to be invested in your sleep, most Americans are wasting their sleeping hours. Whether you are on a cleansing journey or a fitness regimen, or maybe a little worried about cancer, whatever is your reason for being healthy – the most common mistake is to focus changes just in your waking hours.
Given the least amount of attention that goes towards our sleep habits or environs, this might be the first place to start. Better sleep has so many facets to it, we will focus on three key ones
1. Get a great natural futon mattress
There are just so many options to buy mattress on the internet, that saving time walking into a mattress showroom is a bliss. Unfortunately, most of the mattress are still made from artificial fibres and gasoline-based foams that are known to emit volatile organic compound.
It is important you go fully natural, the type Americans used to have and Asian countries continue to use. Japanese mattress like Shikibuton and futon are filled with cotton, they are not just natural but also great for back pains. Mattress in India are also similar in construction and are hand tufted to ensure tight packing of cotton fibers. Cotton mattress are soft and smooth and gives a luxurious comforting feeling. They adapt to the posture and weight of the person naturally.
One of the qualities of cotton is that it can absorb moisture and wick it to the surface keeps the body of the person lying the mattress dry when they sweat. The one caution is that cotton, as a crop is high on pesticides hence it is always a safe option to go organic. Given US fire safety standards, also ensure your mattress is made from organic wool instead of boric acid or other mix with polyester fibers.
The Clinical and Experimental Journal found that in synthetic based mattresses had a high level of house dust mite allergens (HDMA). The levels of HDMA was 3 times of those found in cotton upper layer mattress. In fact if you have a foam mattress, like those popular online, the chances of allergens is even higher (41%).
2. Calibrate your room temperature
Research has now proven beyond doubt that humans sleep better with cooler than day time temperatures. Either too hot or cold sleep environments will cause our bodies to have difficulty in sleeping that can be experienced through restlessness, difficulty falling asleep and waking intermittently.
The best sleep is at the range between 18 to 22 degrees for your room thermostat. Body temperature automatically declines as nightfall approaches and this helps to get us ready biologically for deep slumber. Researches also ground that variations between temperatures from one night to other impacts the quality of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, this is the stage with higher brain activity.
Some other tips that can cool off your body before bed include taking a shower before bedtime but preferably a cooler water temperature without requiring the body to use energy to heat itself. Avoid doing active workouts in the night time, as it takes hours for our metabolic cycle to cool down and signal to the body to stop burning calories for recovery.
3. Eat the right type of food
While you may be vaguely following this, it is time for you to get this engrained as diet can cause all type of sleep imbalances. Instead of narrating the food sources, lets review the elements that help induce slumber. There are four main vitamins and minerals that can be found help with sleep promotion-calcium, magnesium, tryptophan, and B6 in no particular order.
These key substances help generate melatonin which is the sleep-inducing hormone in our body. The major foods with the above include- Diary (remember drinking mile before bed time as a child), Nuts and Fish. One of the best sources is leafy green vegetables, not only are they loaded with the above but they also fill the stomach without much calories not requiring the stomach to keep churning through the night.
The foods you want to avoid are not just lacking in these but also create stress in the body inhibiting release of melatonin. Heavy fat-based food like Steak requires the intestine to continue to digest this expending energy, another one is coffee which goes completely against melatonin keeping us awake. Spicy foods should also be avoiding as just like meat, they cause our stomach to work overtime.
As you start changing your lifestyle to accommodate the above, you will see great improvements that will help progress you to the next path.