The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) found that of the 70 million sleep disorder sufferers, nearly 50 percent had chronic disorders. Experts at Mind Body Spirit Wellness Center, a Georgia-based clinic specializing in alternative well-being methods, have given their best tips for reducing stress and harmonizing mind, body and spirit to get the most out of bedtime.
While the modern and hectic lifestyle of today’s working adult might place sleep and quality rest low on the list of priorities, it’s important to remember just how essential a good night’s rest actually is. The average adult needs seven or eight hours’ sleep to function normally – those that go without, risk disturbances to their emotional well-being, their ability to cope with stress and even digestive issues.
Wellness expert Dr. Maiysha Clairborne understands the importance of healthy sleep as well as the role routine plays within a good sleep pattern. She says: "It’s essential to carve out a bedtime routine that works for you and your body – it’s the best way to get yourself ready to make the most of your resting hours." She suggests setting boundaries for the bedroom and banning smartphones and tablets from use at bedtime, as these give out an artificial light which can trick our bodies into believing that it’s actually daytime. This prolongs the process of falling asleep and can encourage light, shallow sleep rather than the deep REM sleep that we need in order to feel revived and recharged in the morning.
Diet also plays a role in a successful sleep habit. Avoiding food with high levels of sugar and caffeine-laden drinks is a good for health in general, but avoiding consumption of these in the early evening is especially important. The ‘high’ created by these can play havoc with natural sugar and energy levels, so it’s important to wind down naturally in order to get to sleep.
Regular exercise is another example of good health practice that has sleep benefits. While it can boost energy levels in the day, it can also help to create a natural sleepiness that kicks in when you’re ready to sleep. Gentle stretching and yoga can also be beneficial in the hours before going to sleep.
Acupuncture holds benefits for those who need extra help with getting quality sleep. Dr Clairborne adds: "Acupuncture can have a really positive effect on those with insomnia and can help relieve anxiety, which can play a big role in sleep disorders." This is just one of the many treatments offered by the experts at MBS Wellness Clinic, which also specializes in stress management, weight loss and well-being life coaching.
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