You have been staring at the ceiling for hours now. The more you think about needing to fall asleep, the more you toss and turn, and all those ANTs start circling. When you wake up the next morning feeling exhausted or defeated, it’s the right time to create a healthier sleep life.
Chronic Sleep Deprivation Directly Affects Your Health
Many workaholic Americans have an emerging mindset that it’s socially acceptable – even mandatory – to get less rest. They may participate in “work binges” and settle for 4-5 hours of sleep per night. That is just not an adequate amount of brain rest for most of us.
Truth is, chronic sleeplessness can potentially triple the risk of death from all causes, and is associated with cognitive decline, says Daniel G. Amen, MD in Change Your Brain Change Your Life.
Sleeping less than six hours has also been associated with:
- Lower overall blood flow to the brain
- Hindering your mood, focus, and memory for days’ after
- Increase of appetite, which increases risk for unwanted weight gain
- Depression and anxiety
- Loss of focus and willpower
Holistic Treatments for More Soothing Slumber
As this chronic cycle continues, asking your doctor for sleep medication may sound like the only option. However, at Amen Clinics we look at a healthy sleep regimen in a holistic manner, integrating natural healing therapies with the sleeping medications people may already be on.
Helpful, night-time supplements can make a difference to your quality of life. They often contain melatonin, GABA (a calming neurotransmitter), magnesium, vitamin B6 and herbal valerian root, used for centuries as a sleeping supplement.
Invest in Your Rest – You Deserve It
Try these healthy habits alongside a night-time supplement to ensure quality rest and a healthy lifestyle change.
- Exercise early in the day to increase blood flow to the muscles and your brain as a natural, calming stress reliever
- Limit caffeine consumption to early afternoon, this gives your body time to wind down
- Zap all your ANTs (automatic negative thoughts)
- Limit technology before bedtime, pick up a book instead
- Meditate for 10 minutes before you hit the sack
- Free yourself from alcohol and drugs that interfere with optimal sleeping patterns.