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Did you know that sleep plays an essential role when it comes to our physical and mental well-being? That’s right! Besides allowing your body to rest, sleep is also paramount for healthy brain function; in fact, it is during the time you are getting your quality sleep that the brain is able to store and process information from the previous day.
Consequently, your mood and well-being the next morning also depends on the amount and quality of sleep you get.
In today’s burdensome world, however, sleep does not come easily to many. What is more, according to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 20% of Americans get less than six hours of sleep, which is needless to say, an insufficient amount, as our body and brain requires roughly eight hours of sleep in order to function properly.
How does sleep affect physical and mental health?
Sleep is especially important for children and teens, as it greatly contributes to growth and development, while in grown-ups, it aids cardiovascular repair and contributes to the overall healthy function of other organs. Subsequently, this also means that if one doesn’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, they become more prone to a number of health conditions, such as high blood pressure, and even kidney disease.
Furthermore, according to the National Health Institute, besides processing information and storing memories, good-quality sleep also increases the brain’s problem-solving ability and helps it retain new information faster and easier.
What can one do to improve their sleep?
If you belong to the 20% of the American population that finds it hard to get some shut eye, here are a few natural options that can help you get to dreamland.
First and foremost, get plenty of fresh air and exercise; getting enough oxygen into your system, and physically “exhausting” your body will improve your good night’s sleep.
Instead of drinking three cups of coffee a day, try cutting down to one (maybe two), and drink it at least six hours before heading off to bed. Also, try preparing a few tasty and soothing natural beverages that have a sleep-inducing effect, such as Chamomile tea or cherry juice.
Other methods to help you fall and stay asleep:
· Build in winding down time
· Get rid of electronics in the bedroom
· Take a bath
· Do some light reading
Most people consider themselves lucky if they get six or seven hours of sleep per night, but the truth is, our body and brain need at least eight hours to function properly. Prolonged sleep deprivation is a problem that can lead to numerous health conditions, so make sure to make sleep a priority in order to lead a healthy and great-quality life.
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