Sleep Spotlight: Four Steps to a Better Night’s Rest

Sleep Spotlight: Four Steps to a Better Night’s Rest
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Is tossing and turning a regular part of your night? How about falling asleep, but not staying asleep? If your sleep patterns are sporadic, the lack of rest can leave you feeling tired, irritable and can usually cause dark circles under your eyes.

Over time, sleeplessness and sleep disorders can contribute to the symptoms of depression. The most common sleep disorder, insomnia, has the strongest link to depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, those with insomnia were five times as likely to develop depression as those without insomnia. In fact, insomnia is often one of the first symptoms of clinical depression. Seeking early treatment is essential.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down your skin’s collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly weight gain over time as well.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try these steps to get a better nights’ rest –

Get into a Routine

Train your body and mind to get up and go to bed at a specific time every day. Soon enough, your body will start to recognize that it’s getting close to that “bedtime”, and you will likely become tired.

Power Down

It’s a good idea to power down the tablets, laptops and televisions a few minutes before actually going to bed. The reason is that electronics have a tendency to stimulate the brain and keep you awake longer.

Sleep vitamins can be an extremely helpful tool for anyone who is not getting a full, restful night’s sleep on a regular basis.

Focus on your Breath

If you’ve been in bed for more than 20 minutes and have not fallen asleep, it’s recommended to start taking deep breaths. Deep breaths, both inhaling and exhaling, will relax your body and bring down your heart rate.

Clear your Mind

We all have worries, but lying in bed going over the day’s events and worrying about tomorrow while you’re trying to fall asleep is the worst thing to do. Just let it go – the day is over. Accept it for what it is and focus on getting some rest, because 8 hours later the problems will still be there.

What works best for you on sleepless nights? Listening to music? Taking a walk? Let us know what your plan is when you can’t sleep!


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