The One Mental Health Habit You're Probably Skipping
When it comes to taking care of our mental health, we often think of activities such as exercising, spending time with friends, or meditating. But there's one habit that most of us are probably skipping - and it could be one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle: sleep. Practicing proper sleep hygiene can have huge benefits for your mental wellbeing; not only does it help you feel more rested each day and better equipped to tackle whatever tasks come up, but adequate rest also helps restore balance in your brain chemistry while reducing your risk for medical issues like depression and anxiety. So if you’re ready to get serious about improving your overall psychological resilience through better quality snooze time...it’s time to hit the hay!
The Role of Sleep in Our Health
Did you know that getting enough sleep is crucial to our overall health? It's true! Sleep plays an incredibly important role in everything from our mood to our physical health. When we don't get enough sleep, we may find ourselves feeling irritable or groggy, but it's not just our mood that's affected. Lack of sleep has also been linked to a variety of health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. That's why it's so important to prioritize sleep and make sure we're getting enough of it. So next time you're tempted to stay up late binge-watching your favorite show, remember how important sleep truly is to your health and well-being.
Getting good sleep is foundational to our health. It helps us recover, secrete growth hormone that builds muscle and bone, and balances ghrelin and leptin to regulate our hunger. Quality sleep reduces cortisol levels and thyroid-stimulating hormone, which signals stress on our body. And, deep sleep - which usually occurs during the first part of the night - activates our glymphatic system, eliminating toxins from our brain.
Society's Attitude Towards Sleep
Have you ever noticed that we seem to live in a society that glorifies being busy and productive to the point where sleep is often viewed as a waste of time? It's easy to see why this has become the norm, with technology at our fingertips and endless obligations to attend to. But the truth is, skimping on sleep can take a serious toll on our physical and mental health, ultimately hindering our productivity in the long run. It's time to shift our attitude towards sleep and start prioritizing it as an essential part of our self-care routine. So go ahead, hit that snooze button and catch some more Z's – your body and mind will thank you for it!
Getting enough sleep is crucial for good health, yet some of us fail to recognize its importance. Social norms ingrained in many of us during childhood encourage a "live fast, die young" mentality, promoting having fun now and sleep later. However, continuously depriving yourself of rest will eventually catch up, preventing you from having fun in the long run.
Continuous stress doesn't merely affect us physically, leaving us tired and groggy the next day. It also compels the body to work harder without enough energy. Staying awake is fairly taxing, as it not only burns calories, glucose stores, and electrolytes—it also demands that we deplete minerals, particularly magnesium.
The Magnesium Burn Rate and Sleep
Did you know that magnesium can affect your sleep? Yep, it's true! Magnesium is a key mineral that plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, including those that regulate sleep and relaxation. In fact, studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can improve sleep quality and help you fall asleep faster. But did you also know that the rate at which magnesium burns can impact its effectiveness? When magnesium is burned too quickly, it can cause an "energy crash" and actually disrupt your sleep. So, it's important to find a magnesium supplement that is slow-burning and allows for sustained release. Sweet dreams!
We have an entire article on a phenomenon called The Magnesium Burn Rate, which you can read about here. Essentially, the Magnesium Burn Rate is the rate at which the body uses up magnesium, and higher stress leads to faster depletion. One of the most stressful things you can do to yourself is deprive yourself of sleep since it affects blood sugar levels, muscle recovery rate, and detox pathways, among other things.
Ignoring healthy sleep patterns and depleting magnesium stores exacerbates sleep issues and increases the risk of deficiency. Magnesium, responsible for over 700 enzymatic reactions including managing adrenal health, electrolyte balance, and hormone production, supports hydration and muscle contractions, and reduces stress on the nervous system. As a systemic nutrient, magnesium affects nearly everything and deficiency could be dangerous.
Creating a Healthy Night time Routine
Are you finding it difficult to get a good night's sleep? You're not alone! With an ever-increasing demand on our time and energy, creating a healthy evening routine can be challenging. But it is worth taking the time to develop this important habit - establishing a relaxing nighttime routine will help improve your quality of sleep while also providing much needed downtime to recharge. Here are some ways that we can implement a healthy and easy night time routine.
Wake up early and get some sun
Many people have two common excuses for not following this routine: it's not sunny where they live, or they find it hard to wake up early. However, you do not need to live in a sunny climate for this routine to be effective. Natural light, even on cloudy days, is sufficient. The purpose of this routine is to reset your cortisol awakening response, which means that your body will learn to produce cortisol in the morning, peak in the late morning to early afternoon, and slowly decrease in the evening so that your melatonin production will be sufficient for restful sleep. If waking up early is a struggle, it could be due to low cortisol levels in the morning. By following this routine for a few weeks - as it takes 21 days to create a habit - you will find waking up becomes easier and more natural.
Reduce blue light exposure about 1-2 hours before bed
Many bio hackers struggle with this challenge - even the most skilled. We rely heavily on electronic devices and artificial light, making it difficult to distance ourselves from these distractions before bedtime. However, it's well worth it to shut off your phone or computer screens and avoid overhead lamps up to two hours before sleeping. This is because blue light exposure can increase cortisol levels, disrupting our natural melatonin production and making it harder to fall asleep. Prolonged exposure can even cause hunger, energy swings, and blood sugar complications. If you find it impossible to step away from electronic screens, protective blue light-blocking glasses might be a good investment.
Wake up and go to bed at the same time everyday
Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule may seem too easy, but it is crucial for our bodies to thrive. Routine establishes a daily rhythm and helps our bodies prepare for rest without external force. To achieve optimal sleep, aim to go to bed before 11pm and wake up around 6am.
Sleep in a dark and cold room
Maximize your sleep quality by creating the ideal environment for your body to wind down. Research shows that sleeping in complete darkness not only helps you fall asleep, but also leads to a deeper, more restful sleep necessary for reaching REM and deep sleep. Additionally, a cooler room temperature reinforces our body's natural instinct to sleep, ensuring uninterrupted rest. To achieve optimal conditions, aim for a temperature between 15-20 degrees celsius, which boosts melatonin production. Invest in your sleep hygiene and wake up feeling revitalized.
Make sure your last meal/snack before bed contains adequate protein and carbs
While there is often debate surrounding the practice of eating before bed, certain individuals require a nighttime snack to feel fully satisfied and avoid experiencing drops in blood sugar during the night. Consistent awakening around the hours of 2-4am can signal liver or blood sugar imbalances. Incorporating a small snack rich in protein and carbohydrates helps stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the night, leading to uninterrupted and restful sleep. Avoid involuntary awakening due to a dip in glucose levels by adequately fueling your body before bed.
Lower emf exposure
Maximize your health and well-being by simply turning off your wifi at night, particularly in your home. Wifi emits EMF radiation even when idle, potentially disrupting cellular functions and affecting heart, brain, and metabolism. To reduce EMF exposure, unplug wifi and give your body time to rest and repair.
Mouth tape for nose breathing
Nose breathing is natural for some, but many people unknowingly breathe through their mouths, which can negatively impact their well-being. Mouth breathing disrupts sleep and increases stress and anxiety. On the other hand, nose breathing has proven benefits like reducing cortisol levels and promoting healthy blood flow. If you're looking to make the switch to nose breathing, utilizing mouth tape during sleep may be worth considering.
Try a magnesium supplement for deep sleep
If you're seeking a superior magnesium supplement that boasts exceptional absorbability, look no further than Upgraded Formulas Magnesium. With a remarkable 99% absorption rate, it has become the leading supplement on the market to support restful sleep and refreshed waking. Don't miss out and order your Upgraded Magnesium here!
Having a healthy sleep routine is the cornerstone of any mental health plan because it helps to keep your mind in optimal condition. Remember, your brain needs rest just like your body does. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, chances are it will catch up with you eventually. Taking the time to find ways to actually get quality, restful sleep can be one of the best things you can do for your mental health and overall well-being. Focus on creating a relaxing nighttime routine that helps you feel more open and ready to receive sleep when it’s time for bed.
Take breaks throughout the day for restful naps. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax. Adjust your sleep environment with blackout curtains and lavender essential oils for relaxation. These simple steps revitalize your energy and improve your well-being quickly.
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