Most health professionals and experts agree that sleep is a vital component to health. Over 50 million Americans suffer from sleep disturbances. Sleep helps the body heal and process the day’s events; it allows us to recharge and get ready for the day ahead. Yet, when people go without sleep, it can affect their mood, immune system, digestion and most of their body’s processes.  

Insomnia or not sleeping well can lead to:  

● Daytime sleepiness  

● Mood swings, irritability  

● Increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity,  depression, heart attack, and stroke  

Lack of sleep or difficulty sleeping can be caused by a variety of things such as: thyroid disorder, hormone disturbance, excessive caffeine intake, depression, or anxiety.  

Although there can be many causes to sleep disturbances, here’s 5 easy steps to getting better sleep:

1. It’s best to avoid bright lights at least an hour before bed, including blue light from television, smartphones or tablets. Light prevents melatonin from being produced in the brain, disrupting the normal sleep cycle.  

2. Reserve coffee or other caffeinated beverages to be consumed before 10am. Drinking coffee or caffeinated beverages late into the day will prevent your body from winding down at an appropriate time, making it tough to sleep at your bedtime. 

3. Exercise in the morning. Cortisol spikes when you exercise, so starting your day with exercise is the best way to get energized for the day and allow for a normal production of cortisol throughout the day. Exercising at night might alter your body’s normal cortisol production, preventing sleep.

4. Meditate at least 10 minutes before bed. Meditation promotes relaxation and helps stressful moments of the day dissipate. If deep breathing meditation seems too challenging, start with a guided meditation. There are many meditation apps that offer different guided meditations to choose from.

5. Avoid meals at least 3 hours before bedtime. Eating close to bedtime can disrupt restful sleep, especially if you have issues with heartburn or other digestive issues. Research shows that eating too late at night can lead to metabolic dysfunction, impacting weight and your normal sleep cycle.  

If the tips above do not help or do not help enough, it may be time to visit a doctor to dig deeper as to what is going on. We would be happy to help you at Back to Balance. We can be reached at 970-963-6500 to book an appointment or schedule a free 15-minute Discovery Call.