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Part of living a healthy, well-balanced life is making sure that you get enough sleep each night. While it sounds simple enough in theory, achieving those refreshing seven to eight hours of slumber may be easier said than done.
In today’s hectic world, work and personal stress, obligations, family and friends take up a lot of the day, and sleep drops lower on the priority list. Additionally, many people suffer from insomnia or struggle to get a good night’s sleep – instead, they toss and turn, waking up feeling groggy and unsatisfied.
The problem can become a vicious cycle over time: Not getting a good night’s sleep can affect how well you function throughout the day, and having issues during the day may keep you from a decent slumber at night. Not getting enough sleep can affect concentration, mood and appetite, and it can weaken the immune system, leaving your more susceptible to getting sick.
Luckily, there are some simple solutions that can help you drift off to sleep more peacefully and wake feeling refreshed:
Get a massage: Pain makes it much more challenging to fall and stay asleep. Sore muscles can distract you and make it hard to stay in one position for too long, causing you to wake throughout the night. A portable massager allows you to work out knots and kinks to provide relief to your back, neck, legs and/or arms.
Create a nighttime routine: About an hour or so before bed, develop a routine to signal to your body that it’s time to relax. Taking a bath, sipping decaffeinated tea, reading or meditating can soothe your mind and body, so falling into a deep sleep is easier. Having a routine that you do every night also helps program your body to know when it’s time to start to shut down, and it can help balance your circadian rhythm. It’s also useful to set a bedtime and stick to it – even on weekends.
Skip the before-bed munchies: It’s a good idea to close the kitchen and avoid late-night snacking. Digestion prevents your body from fully relaxing, which could keep you from a really good night’s sleep. You might want to skip drinking anything before bed as well, as waking up to use the bathroom might prohibit you from falling back asleep.
Create a sleep-only space: With so much technology around us these days, bedrooms become like a second office with a phone, computer and television all in the room. However, these devices can be distracting and keep you from the slumber you need. Your bedroom should be solely devoted to your rest, so create a cool, dark, quiet space where you can relax and ignore outside distractions.
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Living a healthy lifestyle takes commitment and focus. It’s easy to be swayed off course by cravings, sweets cravings and fatty foods, but you know that these will deter you from your goals. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, enhance your endurance, run a marathon or get stronger, eating a balanced, nutritious diet is a must.
Even so, late night snacks are hard to resist sometimes, and if your stomach is rumbling before hitting the hay, you may reach to something quick and easy. Instead of just grabbing whatever is closest at hand, try these nighttime snacks that won’t derail your good eating habits:
Is your daily routine negatively impacted by that relentless ache in your lower back? Can you feel it throbbing for attention as you read this? You’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, around 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life.