Everybody knows that sleep is important for our health, but you might not be aware of just how important it really is. Several studies have revealed that a lack of sleep can make us forgetful, depressed, and can even lead to weight gain.
American and French researchers determined in 2009 that “sharp wave ripples” in the brain are responsible for memory consolidation, and they occur mostly during sleep’s deepest levels. Therefore, no sleep, no memory consolidation. According to a Sleep in America poll from 2005, depressed or anxious people were found to be more likely to have slept less than six hours at night. Not only that, but according to a 2004 study, those who were able to sleep less than six hours a day were nearly 30% more likely to become obese than people who got seven to nine hours of sleep.
Thankfully, there are several ways that people can remedy their sleep issues quite naturally.
Try Natural Supplements.
While there are several prescription strength sleep aids out there, most people feel that their sleep issues don’t necessitate such drastic measures. Instead, try valerian root capsules. They’re non-addictive, and can be found in most natural-food and drug stores.
Fix Your Sleep Schedule.
The human body has what’s called a circadian rhythm that dictates when people feel sleepy and when they feel alert. People who have trouble going to bed and getting up in the morning likely have circadian rhythms that are out of whack. In order to adjust it, people should go to bed and get up at the same time–even on weekends, holidays, and days off. This consistency will reinforce the body’s sleep-wake cycle, promoting a better night’s sleep.
Beat Your “Monkey Brain.”
A common problem that people have when trying to go to sleep, which is called “monkey brain,” is that they lie awake, agonizing over their need to sleep or overthinking other things, which only keeps them from sleeping. The best solution is to do something relaxing prior to trying to sleep. However, what works well for one person won’t necessarily be as effective for another. According to a Lifehacker discussion with Dr. Nitun Verma, who’s the Medical Director of the Washington Township Center for Sleep Disorders, people should do something relaxing, but mentally tiring, to ease themselves into their sleep. Dr. Verma says that, “A really smart person, for example, may not see good results by doing something very boring, like reading a phone book, because they’ll only use a small part of their attention. They would still have racing thoughts.”
If all else fails, you may want to consider getting a new mattress. They’re traditionally flat, which doesn’t do much in terms of support for the human back because our spines are actually S-shaped. Hopefully, it won’t come to that, and you can solve your sleep issues with one of these tips.