As your trusted online health store, we wanted to spend some time talking to you about the importance of sleep. We know that you are committed to taking steps to ensure that you’re living the best life you can live — and that includes catering to your overall health. If there’s one thing that decades of research on health has shown, it’s that quality and consistent sleep is essential to our well-being. Good sleep is just as essential as eating nutritious foods and getting regular exercise. As an online health store, we have many products that can help ensure that you’re getting the sleep that you need, even if you’re struggling with a cold or flu.
1. Avoid Caffeine Late in the Day
We don’t want to mess with people’s coffee routine. We know the importance of coffee. Most of us can’t go a day without it. Indeed, 90% of the U.S. population consumes coffee! And, in general, it has positive health effects, including enhanced energy and focus. Nevertheless, consuming coffee too late in the day has shown to have a clear negative effect on sleep quality.
Of course, it’s not the coffee per se. It’s the caffeine. This means that the negative effects on your sleep hold true for tea, soda, energy drinks, and anything else that contains an appreciable dose of that caffeinated goodness. This is because caffeine has been shown to remain elevated in our blood for up to eight hours after consumption. Elevated energy is great — except when you’re trying to doze off to dreamland. Thus, it’s recommended that you avoid having large amounts of caffeine after 3-4 p.m. — or 6-8 hours before you go to bed. Can’t kick the craving? Maybe try a cup of decaf.
2. Strive for Consistency
Research has revealed that one of the best ways to ensure a solid night’s rest is to have a consistent sleep schedule. Everyone’s heard that it’s best to get eight hours of sleep every night. While that’s still a decent rule, the consistency of your sleep might even be more important than the quantity of your sleep.
This means that you’ll want to try to get to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time each night and morning. This is easier said than done, of course. But research has shown that a consistent sleep schedule can bring about huge benefits, including drops in blood pressure and increases in energy. Studies have even highlighted that irregular sleep patterns can alter your circadian rhythm and levels of melatonin, which signals your brain to sleep.
Another tip for getting that consistent schedule is to avoid erratic and long naps throughout your day. While there are certain benefits that come from power naps, you should try to avoid taking naps that last very long. If you are going to take a nap, try to make it at the same time each day. Research shows that people who take consistent naps don’t have disruptions in their internal clocks. Disruptions are more likely for those who don’t take naps consistently. So, if naps are needed, take them consistently and make them short — perhaps around 30 minutes. If you struggle with sleep, try to get in the habit of waking up and going to bed at similar times. After several weeks, you may not even need an alarm!
3. Try a Melatonin Supplement
As mentioned above, your circadian rhythm depends on a key sleep hormone that tells your brain when it's time to relax and head to bed: melatonin. Looking for a tip for getting that needed melatonin if you’re struggling with consistent sleep? Check out the selection of melatonin sleep supplements from your online health store!
In one study, just two milligrams of melatonin before bed improved sleep quality and energy the next day, and helped people fall asleep faster. Melatonin is also useful when traveling and adjusting to a new time zone, as it helps your body's circadian rhythm return to normal. Research has also indicated that there are no withdrawal effects when stopping melatonin supplements.
As your online health store, we recommend that you start with a low dose to assess your tolerance, and then increase it slowly as needed. Since melatonin may alter brain chemistry, it is advised that you check with your pharmacist or physician before use. You should also speak with a healthcare provider if you're thinking about using melatonin as a sleep aid for your child, as long-term use of this supplement in children has not been well studied.
Stay Tuned for More from Your Online Health Store
Sleep is a complex subject, of course. We’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to sleep tips. There remain plenty of things you can do to get the sleep you deserve. So, stay tuned for our next blog that will explore more tips for a great night’s rest. Meanwhile, take advantage of our 21st Century vitamins and supplement sale, and shop our huge selection of sleep aids.