It is estimated that insomnia affects up to 35 percent of the American population at some point in their lives. Symptoms vary widely among those who are sleep-deprived, with some people unable to fall asleep, and others waking intermittently throughout the evening, leaving them bleary-eyed and tired in the morning.
Both scenarios have a detrimental impact on health and physical well-being, as chronic insomnia has been linked to a greater risk for stroke, insulin resistance, heart disease and shorter lifespans.
It’s no surprise that a solid night’s sleep (at least 8-9 hours) makes us feel better in general. A lack of sleep stresses our bodies in many ways, leading to memory problems, cognitive impairment, and a cascade of hormone imbalances that often cause weight gain.
If you’re having problems getting some shut-eye, here are some expert suggestions on how to beat insomnia and reclaim the healthy sleep you deserve.
Research has shown that the artificial light from televisions, laptops, cell phones and tablets disrupts the production of our sleep regulating hormone melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep. The easiest solution? Keep your bedroom free of electronic devices, and if you must get on your computer right before bed, consider picking up some amber-tinted glasses made by Solar Shield or Uvex. Both are inexpensive and have been proven to stop the suppression of melatonin.
It’s no secret that exercise is good for your health, but did you know that hitting the gym can also help combat insomnia? Studies indicate that people who work out regularly tend to enjoy a better quality of sleep and suffer fewer symptoms of insomnia. However, since heavy cardio exercise raises your body’s core temperature above optimal levels for sleeping, it’s best to finish your workout at least three hours before hitting the sack.
Unlike prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills, which can be habit-forming over time, herbal supplements are not addictive and may help some people doze off at night. The following herbs have proven particularly useful: valerian, lemon balm, Californian poppy and passion flower. Before taking any type of medication – natural or other – it’s always best to consult with your physician.
Sleep disruption and insomnia take many forms, and while some causes are environmental and physical in nature, other instances can traced back to the wrong type of mattress support. As an example, if you sleep with a partner who is constantly tossing and turning, this movement can be enough to disrupt your normal sleep cycles and ability to reach multiple sessions of REM sleep. Today’s sleep systems offer better motion isolation on impact-absorbing layers of foam and latex. If you wake up in puddles of sweat, there are beds infused with cooling gel memory foam that wick away heat.
If you’re suffering the effects of sleep deprivation, it may be time for an honest evaluation of your current mattress. Remember that most mattresses need replacing every 7-10 years.
The team at Mattress World Northwest is dedicated to helping our customers achieve that elusive night’s sleep and is proud to be Oregon’s #1 retailer of quality sleep systems. Get on the path to better sleep and better health, and take our free Sleep Analysis today!