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Are you tired of tossing and turning in bed? An average person spends ⅓ of their life sleeping. Research has shown that lack of sleep has immediate side effects on the body. Other than affecting your mood, it also affects your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function. It can also cause weight gain and increase disease risk in both adults and children. Health expert, Tia Maher, will dive into three tips to help you sleep better at night and create a better sleep rhythm.

How does sleep deprivation affect me?

To feel your best during the day, you need to sleep well at night. Unfortunately, there is no magic button you can click to feel and sleep better instantly, but there are solutions. Sleep deprivation can have many sources, some easy to fix and others that may take time. For example, when you’re sick with the flu, you don’t sleep well. The flu is easier to get rid of than a lifetime of bad sleeping habits. Anxiety and depression can also deprive us of sleep, so it’s important to look after our mental health as well as our physical one. 

It is recommended to sleep between 7 to 9 hours every night to fully rest and regain your cognitive functions. If you miss out on these hours, you will wake up feeling like Sleepy and Grumpy, the dwarves with Snow White. That’s not all that sleep deprivation does. It carries long-term effects on your health. Here’s a quick list:

  • Memory issues

During sleep, your brain forms connections that help you process and remember information. A lack of sleep can negatively impact your short- and long-term memory.

  • Trouble with thinking and concentration

Your concentration, creativity, and problem-solving skills aren’t up to par when you don’t get enough sleep.

  • Mood changes

Sleep deprivation can make you moody, emotional, and quick-tempered. Chronic sleep deprivation can affect your mood and lead to anxiety or depression.

  • Prone to accidents

Being drowsy during the day can increase your risk of car accidents and injuries from other causes.

  • Weakened immunity

Too little sleep weakens your immune system’s defenses against viruses like those that cause the common cold and flu. You’re more likely to get sick when exposed to those germs.

  • High blood pressure

If you sleep less than five hours a night, your risk for high blood pressure increases.

  • Risk for diabetes

A lack of sleep affects your body’s release of insulin, a blood sugar-lowering hormone. People who don’t get enough sleep have higher blood sugar levels and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. 

  • Weight gain

With sleep deprivation, the chemicals that signal to your brain that you are full are off-balance. As a result, you’re more likely to overindulge even when you have had enough to eat.

  • Low sex drive

People who don’t get enough sleep often have a lower libido. In men, this decreased sex drive may be due to a drop in testosterone levels. 

  • Risk of heart disease

Sleep deprivation may lead to increased blood pressure and higher levels of chemicals linked to inflammation, both of which play roles in heart disease.

  • Poor balance

Lack of sleep can affect your balance and coordination, making you more prone to falls and other physical accidents.

How to sleep better at night?

The purpose of these three tips is to go from insomnia or difficulty sleeping to a place of peace and rest. Here’s how to do it.

Tip #1 Create a bedtime routine

Try to set a time for you to rise every day and time to sleep. By doing so, you will be tapping into your body’s circadian rhythm. Your body’s circadian rhythm functions on a set loop, aligning itself with sunrise and sunset. Being consistent in your sleep schedule has shown great improvement in the long-term sleep quality, which in turn aided in weight loss and better moods.

Tip #2 Experiment with evening routines and activities

Turn off your phone and Netflix at least sixty minutes before going to bed because blue light tricks your body into thinking it’s daytime. So, in order to unwind and prepare your mind and body for sleep, you can maybe read a book, drink some tea to soothe your system, do some stretches to wind down, put on some nice calming music or white noise. 

Tip #3 Start journaling

Many of us can’t sleep because of our busy brains. We start getting creative ideas late at night when we should be asleep, or we think about work and other stressors in our life. Keeping a journal on your bedside table can help you get these ideas down on paper to clear your head and postpone overthinking for the morning after you have had your rest.

These are Tia’s top three tips to sleep better! 

If you have any questions or tips from your personal experiences for sleeping better, feel free to reach out to the Mint Basil Market team or comment below.

June 24, 2021 — Mint Basil Market

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