My Cart

Close

HOW TO GET A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP

MAGGIE O'MEARA

We all know that getting enough sleep, or even just getting quality sleep, is not that easy. In fact, in can seem impossible to get the recommended 7-8 hours in a night when there are so many other areas of your life to focus on. In fact, according to a 2016 study by the US Center for Disease Control, 1 in 3 adults in the United State are not getting enough sleep. But with sleep being such a vital role in both our mental and physical health, getting a quality night’s rest is essential for our health and wellness.  

Studies have shown that sleep deficiency makes people have trouble with their emotions, behavior, and making decisions. It is also linked to depression, suicide, heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and obesity. Getting good, quality sleep is important for our bodies! The country with people that gets the most sleep is in the Netherlands who average 8 hours and 12 minutes of sleep a night. One of the reasons that the Netherlands gets a lot of sleep is due to their culture.  

 

 

Sleeping tips to learn from The Netherlands:

1) The period between the Netherland’s evening meal and bedtime is very long. In fact, one way to get a good night’s sleep is to make sure you have a 3-hour window between eating and sleeping.

2) The country also has an earlier bedtime than other countries. Going to bed late actually had a bigger detrimental effect on a person’s sleep than getting up early in the morning. Having a set early bedtime and a set wakeup time is useful because this will get your body and sleep patterns on schedule.

 3) This Netherlands study also found that people who typically get outdoor light during the day, go to sleep longer than people who just get indoor light. So get outside during the day when you can!

4) Also get some exercise in! Exercise also increases quality of sleep. However, avoid exercising three hours before bedtime because raising your heart rate before sleep can make you feel restless.

5) Once it is bedtime, it essential to stay away from artificial light at least 30 minutes before sleep. This is because melatonin is induced by darkness. So if you keep looking at your phone, laptop, television, or even your alarm clock, you may never feel fully tired.

 

What to Eat for a Good Night's Sleep:

1) Variety! Studies show that restrictive diets and lack of variety negatively affect the quality and duration of sleep. So load up on a variety of nutrients through different vegetables and fruits everyday.

2) Avoid big meals and alcohol before bedtime. While everyone can enjoy a large dinner now and again, it does increase blood flow to the digestive system which is uncomfortable at night. Alcohol is a common nightcap before bed for it’s relaxing and sedative effects. However, it is also not good before bed because once your body eliminates the alcohol, your sleeping pattern is disrupted, leading to no longer being in a deep sleep making it easier to wake up from. 

3) Calcium and magnesium are best to take before bed because they help make melatonin which regulates sleep. So go ahead a drink that warm cup of milk with a soothing bedtime tea before bed. You can also take calcium and magnesium as supplements!

4) Carbohydrates such as rice, cereal, and pasta boosts tryptophan in the body which is an essential amino acid that produces the hormones for relaxation and sleep. Foods high in tryptophan are seafood, eggs, turkey, nuts, seeds, lentils, bananas, and milk.

5) Once it is bedtime, it essential to stay away from artificial light at least 30 minutes before sleep. This is because melatonin is induced by darkness. So if you keep looking at your phone, laptop, television, or even your alarm clock, you may never feel fully tired.

 

Sleepy Time Trail Mix as a Nighttime Snack:

This recipe includes ingredients that contain tryptophan and nutrients for a healthy treat that will help you fall asleep! I enjoy this with a magnesium supplement, a bedtime tea with milk, and some lavender essential oil to relax before bed!
(makes 2 servings)

  • 1 cup Cheerios
  • 1/2 cup Dried Cherries
  • 1/4 cup Cashews
  • 1/4 cup Pistachios 

 

EXPLORE OPTIMIST

 

References
  1. Countries Where People Sleep the Most and the Least. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/wellness/countries-where-people-sleep-the-most-and-the-least/ss-AAxFidG#image=22 
  2. W. (n.d.). Dutch people sleep longer than anyone else in the world. Retrieved from https://www.iamexpat.nl/expat-info/dutch-expat-news/dutch-people-sleep-longer-anyone-else-world 
  3. Chu, M. (2018, June 18). Drinks, Drugs, and Dinners: How Diet Affects Your Sleep, According to Science. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@melissachu/drinks-drugs-and-dinners-how-diet-affects-your-sleep-according-to-science-389533726651  

 

Hello You!

Join our mailing list