The Importance of Sleep
After a long and hard day at work, the best form of reward is to indulge in a night's worth of sound and peaceful sleep. It helps to replenish energy levels within the body and also allows the mind to escape from the toxic levels of stress that many individuals have become accustomed to. As enticing as it can be, the process of achieving a rewarding sleep cycle is easier said than done. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 35% of Americans experience below average sleep quality. Furthermore, every 1 in 5 Americans reported that they consistently do not rise up feeling refreshed.
There are many factors that possess the potential to sabotage a full and sound sleep cycle. If these issues are not handled with the right treatment methods, it can lead to severe health issues such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, the prevalence of cancer and even early mortality. Other than prevent the onset of these conditions, constant and regular sleep patterns also actively promote good health, happiness and longevity. Having highlighted the benefits and consequences, individuals should take precaution towards the development of these habits that can disrupt their joyful sleep experience.
- Late meals
- Strenuous activities before bedtime
- Irregular sleeping routine
- Habit of staying up late
- Excessive stress or anxiety issues
- Inadequate sleeping environment
- Uncomfortable bed
- Nicotine/Alcohol/Caffeine intake before bed
Ways to Promote Natural Sleep
As life tends to balance itself intricately between the good and the bad, there are several ways to help promote better sleep quality throughout the night. In modern society, the first thing to do is to eliminate all sources of electronic devices.
Televisions, computers and even mobile phones should be put to sleep as the electronic waves that they transmit have the ability to disrupt the sleep cycle.
Next, a specific diet of sleep-inducing foods can also help to promote better sleep quality. For instance, a good dose of protein and carbohydrates before bedtime helps to induce sleep. This can be achieved by eating half a banana roughly half an hour before going to bed. Another type of sleep-inducing food can be found in foods that contain high levels of magnesium. Studies have shown that a lack of magnesium causes the mind to stay awake late at night and can obstruct the sleep cycle.
The L-theanine element that is commonly found in green tea is also an effective source of sleep-inducing food. It helps to reduce anxiety levels in the mind, promote adequate stress management and reduce heart rate. These factors combine to help produce brain waves that allow the mind to enter a state of relaxation and enable it to achieve a better sleep quality. Last but not least, the habit of drinking a glass of milk before bed has also been scientifically proven to aid in achieving a satisfying sleep cycle.
How Milk Helps to Induce Good Sleep Quality
Based on a research conducted by the Institute of Applied Biotechnology, University of Kuopio, Finland in 2005, scientists successfully reported that drinking milk before bedtime can effectively help to promote better sleep experiences. This is made possible due to the high content level of calcium found in milk. The additional intake of calcium encourages the brain to produce more melatonin and thus, induce better sleep patterns.
Melatonin is a natural hormone in the body that helps to regulate an individual's sleep cycle. It determines the time to be awake and the time to head to bed. It can be conceptualized as an internal alarm system that lowers body temperature and induces drowsiness when it is time for bed.
Other than relying on the body's natural system to produce melatonin, it can also be found in the form of health supplements. These supplements can be taken to help the mind enter into a deeper sleep cycle and experience replenished energy levels upon waking up. Most people normally take melatonin to counter jet lag, long working hours and even insomnia.
The science of achieving a good night's sleep does not require much expertise. More often than not, the factors that prohibit better sleep quality are external factors that can be easily eliminated. A good way to start off is by switching off all electronic devices before heading to bed. Alternatively, individuals can also choose to take melatonin to help induce the brain into a sounder sleep cycle and experience better overall sleep quality throughout the night. Regardless of the severity of interrupted sleep, the endless solutions and preventive measures ensures one of the methods is ease the torturous symptoms.