7 Evidence-Based Tips for Better Sleep

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 35% of adults sleep less than the recommended seven hours per night. With sleep being a well-documented pillar of good health, sleep deprivation can cause havoc on the body. Are you ready to get better sleep? Here are seven evidence-based tips for a good night’s rest, including how CBD with melatonin may help.

Not getting enough sleep is linked to chronic health conditions, including:

  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes

Improving your sleep health can involve various lifestyle practices, known as sleep hygiene. Dietary supplements like melatonin, which we produce less of as we age, can also help. CBD has also been shown to be effective in helping with relaxation and sleep.

In this article, we share the best sleep hygiene tips from lifestyle changes to supplements such as CBD with melatonin to help you get on your way to well-rested!

How does sleep affect your health?

Let’s take a quick look at how sleep impacts our health. During sleep, our body repairs and regenerates itself. Sleep is also very important to help enhance the immune system’s defenses.

Not getting enough sleep can be harmful. Compared to individuals who sleep over seven hours per day, those who sleep less than seven hours per day have an increased risk of developing several health conditions such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular events and diseases
  • Depression
  • Diabetes

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommends these guidelines for sleep based on your age.

  • 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps)
  • 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (including naps)
  • 3-5 years: 10-13 (including naps)
  • 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
  • 13-18: 8-10 hours
  • 18-60: 7 or more hours

7 Tips for Good Sleep Hygiene

There are natural ways to improve sleep quality and duration, collectively referred to as sleep hygiene. Here are seven evidence-based sleep hygiene tips.

  • Regular Exercise: Exercise may be one of the best sleep hygiene activities, so we listed it at the top of the list. Research shows that engaging in consistent physical activity for over four weeks improves sleep in both healthy individuals and individuals with sleep disorders.
  • Consistency: Research shows that sleep continuity and duration are negatively impacted by shifts in sleep patterns, such as shift work or travel/jet lag. Irregular sleep and wake times can disrupt your circadian rhythm – the daily patterns of sleep and wakefulness in your body. A good goal is to sleep and wake at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Environment: Your brain relies on the cycle of light and darkness throughout the day to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm. Light exposure at night can result in wakefulness. Limit screen time a few hours prior to bedtime, keep your bedroom dark by turning off overhead lights. A sleep mask or blackout curtains can be helpful as well. Try to limit environmental noise such as music, traffic and noisy appliances. This can be challenging, as some noises are outside of your control. In this case, studies have shown that using sound-masking and sound-reducing strategies can improve sleep. Explore using a white noise app or sound machine, or even low-tech earplugs.
  • Routine: During the first three phases of sleep, also known as non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, skin temperature is generally higher and core body temperature is lower. A simple way to raise your skin temperature is by taking a bath or footbath. This may reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep. Research has found that stress can negatively impact sleep, resulting in both physical and psychological responses that impact sleep. Bringing relaxation activities into your sleep routine can be helpful. Two that research supports for reducing stress and sleep challenges include meditation and journaling.
  • Avoid or Minimize Alcohol: Be mindful with consuming alcohol before bed, as it can suppress the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep, resulting in sleep disruptions. Ever wake at 3 a.m. after having a couple drinks the night before? According to Chinese medicine, that time is when our liver is most active and processing toxins, including alcohol.
  • Limit Screen Time” Exposure to blue wavelengths of light, commonly emitted from LED screens, before bed may interrupt your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps your body fall and stay asleep. Limit using sources of blue light, such as computers, TVs, smartphones and tablets, three hours before bed. Consider wearing blue light-blocking glasses if you must use screens near bedtime.
  • CBD with Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone in your body that plays a role in sleep. The production and release of melatonin in the brain is connected to time of day, increasing when it’s dark and decreasing when it’s light. Melatonin production declines with age. Supplementing with melatonin can be helpful for many who experience sleep challenges. While generally safe, there are some possible side effects and medications melatonin may interact with to be aware of. CBD has also been shown to help promote sleep and relaxation, which is why many find it useful to take prior to bedtime.

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