Enjoy this fabulous guest blog post by Laura Pearson of Edutude: Where education has an attitude.
It’s been said that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but really, it’s better attributed to your sleeping habits. There is good reason it’s called beauty sleep. Quality rest has been known to repair the body, which includes restoration to one’s visage. This leads to fewer wrinkles, less puffiness around the eyes, and a glowing complexion, to name a few. Adequate sleep also contributes to making you feel younger because it increases your energy and boosts your immune functions.
It’s safe to say, that sufficient sleep could very well be the fountain of youth itself. If so, it’s important to make it an indelible part of your life. You can do this by making tweaks that support excellent sleeping habits. Here are a few of the budget-friendliest ones to get you started.
Address physical concerns.
It might seem counterintuitive in a way, but your own body might be keeping you from a good night’s sleep. Issues like Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), arthritis and sleep apnea can all get in the way of restful slumber. Fortunately, they are all issues that have sound treatments available.
GERD is something you can often successfully address through a few lifestyle changes. Eating earlier in the evening and avoiding foods that contribute to GERD are a good start. If those don’t help, try adding a GERD wedge pillow to your bed. There are also over-the-counter medications, and of course, you can get help from your doctor.
As Creaky Joints notes, arthritis can be similarly helped. Switching to a thinner pillow for sleep and snoozing with a heating pad can ease discomfort. It might even be helpful to invest in a hospital bed. Gentle yoga and diet adjustments are also a boon to arthritis sufferers. Of course, there are both over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help.
Sleep apnea can be more troublesome to address, depending on the issue. Some people find nose strips helpful to ease snoring. If you have a mouth misalignment like an overbite, there are corrective treatments that help with your sleep and appearance, and you can even address them from the comfort of home. The added benefit of correcting your teeth, is that your smile is more pleasing, and you don’t need to resort to traditional braces for satisfying results.
For many sleep apnea sufferers, a sleep test is in order, which often leads to a CPAP machine. While many solutions for sleep apnea can seem extreme, the health benefits outweigh the inconvenience of correcting the issue.
Optimize your sleep environment.
It’s interesting to note that counted among the various external factors that influence sleep is your sleep environment. In fact, per the Sleep Foundation, sleep scientists have found that the perfect sleep environment does exist, and it takes into account a number of crucial factors—noise, temperature, light, and sleeping surface. It goes without saying that less-than-optimum conditions in relation to these factors may be the main reason why a person isn’t sleeping well.
Case in point, consider your sleeping surface. You’ll be surprised to know that your mattress can, in fact, affect your sleep and health. Essentially, this means that a seemingly adequate mattress may not be as great for you as you might think, taking into account parameters like sleeping position and weight (to name a few). It’s definitely a good idea to take stock of your mattress to see if it passes muster and change it if necessary.
Of course, mattresses don’t generally come cheap. Ditto with linens and other devices that can help you sleep. It’s a good idea, therefore, to do your due diligence when shopping to find great deals on the products you need from various retailers. The internet is a great place to start your search. Moreover, stores with free shipping for qualified purchases can also translate to considerable savings.
Start a relaxing bedtime ritual.
Now, it’s not rare for one to be too high-strung to sleep. In fact, it’s an unfortunate truth that people are having a hard time relaxing these days, We can thank the demands of daily living, constant connectivity, and more. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to adopt a solid bedtime routine that helps you relax and ultimately get restful sleep.
Avoiding stimulating activities in the hours prior to bedtime is crucial as this can throw your internal body clock out of whack. Therefore, eschew strenuous exercises like aerobics, watching television, working on your laptop, or scrolling through your smartphone. Instead, consider doing light stretching, taking a warm bath, or reading to wind down for bedtime. Meditating is also a great sleep aid, so consider installing a meditation app as these are often free or don’t cost much for a subscription.
Mind what you consume.
Finally, don’t underestimate how food and drink can affect your ability to sleep restfully. In fact, there are certain food groups that are known to help you fall asleep faster and actually sustain sleep, and others that do the exact opposite. So as a rule, it’s more than wise to avoid eating heavy meals before bedtime, as well as food and drinks that are high in fat, caffeine, and protein. And despite the common belief, alcohol does not help promote sleep at all. It’s good practice, therefore, to steer clear of these food items in your next grocery run (and save a buck or two while you’re at it)—or at least, avoid them at night.
Indeed, it just takes a few mindful lifestyle tweaks to get good sleep. The best part is, it won’t even cost you a lot. So really, you don’t have to spend so much on skincare implements when you are consistent with your beauty sleep. How’s that for a payoff?
Nurtured Well is dedicated to promoting women’s mental health, and they are especially helpful to those who feel they may need medication but are afraid to take it. Connect today by calling 410-324-6490 to learn more about how they can help you.