It is easy to underestimate the importance and the immense role that quality rest plays in our day-to-day lives. And this couldn’t be any truer in a world that glorifies workaholics and those who seem to squeeze productivity out of every waking minute. Nonetheless, this does not negate the fact that resting well and wholesomely is an art that most are yet to perfect. We have been conditioned to be under the assumption that taking a few minutes off our daily grind to kick back and recharge is time wasted that could otherwise be utilized better. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. Physical, as well as mental rest, is hugely important if you hope to remain healthy, productive, and well-adjusted regardless of what is happening around you.
What Influences Rest?
Like most things in life, all forms of rest are not created equal. That’s the reason, for instance, you tend to wake up rejuvenated and re-invigorated on some days of the week, while on other days, you struggle to drag yourself out of bed. The most plausible explanation is that several underlying factors affect the quality and amount of sleep that we can squeeze out of the number of hours that we usually allocate to rest. With that in mind, here is what affects and influences rest.
- Stress levels: It goes without saying that being chronically stressed can seriously impair our ability to fall and stay asleep. And even if we manage to somehow catch a few Z’s, we usually tend not to wake up as refreshed and re-energized as we would otherwise hope to.
- Sleep hygiene: Those among us who are big on taking caffeinated beverages, sipping a few servings of alcohol, or smoking just before hitting the hay tend to struggle with poor sleep quality than those who do not indulge in any form of substance abuse.
- Nutrition and supplements: A majority of folks are unaware that certain supplements and nutritional fixes exist that can help you node off to slumberland and wake up feeling revitalized the next morning. And, no, we are not talking about conventional or habit-forming sleeping pills here. On the contrary, supplements such as Wellabs serotonin pills are fashioned to plug in the nutritional gaps in your eating/dietary regimen than could be making it difficult for you to enjoy the perks of quality and deep slumber.
How To Sleep Better
Now that you are aware of some of the stumbling blocks between you and well-earned sleep, here’s how to improve your trip to slumberland every night.
1. Make Use of Supplements
Sleep-promoting supplements play an incredible role in helping the body maintain a circadian rhythm optimal for a restful sleep pattern. You see, a bunch of hormones, such as melatonin and serotonin, are involved in signaling to the brain that it is time to go to sleep. In other words, being insufficient or unable to synthesize these brain signals typically translates to finding it incredibly hard to fall and stay asleep. Serotonin supplements, for instance, have proven to be quite adept at being a natural ‘resting aid’, going by the incredible role that the hormone plays in improving sleep duration and quality.
2. Exercise or be Physically Active During the Day
Look around – most people either have a sedentary lifestyle by choice or have jobs that involve sitting down for long hours at a go. If anything, a recent survey shows less than 15% of Americans bother to work out at least once a week. Apart from rising obesity and heart disease rates, this also means that more Americans are struggling with poor sleep quality at the end of a gruesome day at work. Here is the thing – exercise is not just good for your cardiovascular health; it also promotes the release of beneficial stress-relieving endorphins that make it easier to fall asleep later in the day. What’s more, moderate aerobic exercise helps raise one’s core body temperature which then promotes sleepiness and relaxation when it falls and declines back to the usual baseline after a good workout stint.
The best thing about daily exercise is that it does not have to involve paying for a pricy gym membership or buying expensive workout equipment. Something as simple as going for a short and brisk walk out in the countryside or park for at least 30 minutes can go a long way in calming your brain down and relaxing jittery nerves.
3. Meditation and Yoga
While working out and going for short walks promote physical relaxation, meditation is one of the most effective ways of resting our brains. You see, we live in a world that over-stimulates our brains, which somewhat explains the perpetual lethargy and general lack of enthusiasm that most folks suffer from nowadays. And this is one of the main reasons meditation is crucial: it stabilizes our emotions, slows down racing thoughts, purges anxiety, and allows you to forget your worries and live in the moment (even if it is just for a couple of minutes or an hour). Simply put, meditation or practicing yoga is the best way of neutralizing the constant bombardment of modern-day problems and allowing yourself an effortless drift to slumberland at the end of a long and arduous day.
4. Limit and Restrict the Use of Phones, TVs, and Computers in the Bedroom
Unfortunately, we live in an age where our brains are constantly overstimulated by the ubiquitous presence of smartphones, TV, media devices, video games, movies, pornography, etc. Our brains are not adapted, nor did they evolve to handle this level of artificial overstimulation that high-speed internet has made possible today. That’s the main reason it is very important to limit the use of media gadgets, video games, and electronic devices in the bedroom if you hope to get some quality sleep at the end of every day without fail. Switch off your phone at least 30 minutes before bed and pick a book instead; the difference in sleep quality you get afterward will astound you.
Building better sleep habits calls for a deliberate effort to create a healthy resting and relaxing environment at home as well as at work. As you can see, better rest demands a combination of nutrition, supplementation, discipline, and self-control. Above all, remember that your brain is a muscle and works best if it is routinely well-rested.