Healthy Habit – Sleep
Sleep is so important for our bodies to grow. It is important for our physical health as well as our mental health. Sleep heals and repairs our blood vessels. We need at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night to function on a daily basis. I have hypothyroid so I am often tired and my body feels well rested with 8 hours of sleep each night.
When you get a good night’s sleep you feel more energized and ready for the day. You eat fewer calories. Your concentration and productivity levels rise. You perform better at sports and exercise. It is better for brain function.
Why is sleep important for the brain?
Sleep is important for your brain to function. Your brain and body stay active while you sleep, nerve cells communicate with each other and your brain removes toxins that build up while you are awake.
Why do we need to sleep?
Researchers have shown after people sleep, they tend to retain information and perform better on memory tasks. Our bodies require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.
How does the lack of sleep affect your health?
You will start to feel down and may fall asleep during the day. Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work or on the road increases. If lack of sleep continues it can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
5 Ways to get a good night’s sleep:
1. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
2. Leave your computer and cell phone in another room, like the kitchen.
3. Eat dinner at least 2 hours before you turn in for the night.
4. Your bedroom should be dark and cool.
5. Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Snack foods that will promote better sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, changes in sleep patterns are part of the aging process. Many people experience difficulty falling asleep and then staying asleep as they age, and that can make men and women over 50 feel more tired during the day. There are steps they can take to improve their sleeping patterns.
Certain snack foods may help to improve quality sleep, especially when these foods replace less healthy snack options. The following snack foods can help promote better sleep.
*Almonds: almonds contain enough magnesium, a mineral with muscle-relaxing properties, to help men and women get a better night’s sleep. About a half hour before bed eat a quarter cup of almonds which may be enough to make falling asleep and staying asleep easier.
*Bananas: bananas provide a substantial amount of magnesium, much like almonds. Bananas contain the amino acid tryptophan, which has been linked to better sleep quality. A banana about a half hour before bed might help you fall and stay asleep.
*Cheese and crackers: cheese and crackers contain tryptophan and carbohydrates, which can induce a better night’s sleep and help you fall asleep faster.
*Cherries: cherries contain the sleep hormone melatonin. Studies indicate that drinking tart cherry juice on a daily basis can help you fall asleep quicker, sleep longer and better.
*Hummus: the primary ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are loaded with tryptophan, folate and vitamin B6. Folate has proven beneficial to older men and women who need help regulating their sleep patterns, while B6 helps the body regulate its clock.
*Peanut butter: peanut butter is another snack item loaded with tryptophan. Spread some peanut butter on crackers or toast about a half hour before bed to get a better, longer night’s sleep.
*Walnuts: like cherries, walnuts contain melatonin, which contribute to a longer, more restful night’s sleep. Walnuts can help regulate stress, which is a leading cause of difficulty sleeping.
The right foods may help get a more restful sleep.
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