ECLS Energy

GET ALL YOUR ZZZ’S WITH THESE SLEEP HACKS

In today’s overly connected world, it’s easy to keep scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, sun-up to well past sundown. Being connected 24/7 has upsides: business and personal connections can happen anywhere, any time. You can call your cross-country sibling, message a funny cat video to your favorite aunt, send a roommate a passive-aggressive rent reminder. The possibilities online are endless.

These incredible advancements in communication and productivity also have their downsides. More than one-third of American adults don’t get enough sleep. We willingly deprive ourselves with every swipe, tap, and like. And there are countless other reasons why you may feel tired during the day. In fact, there’s a whole science behind it. One of the most common causes of fatigue is the lack of quality sleep.

Here’s some good news: no matter how poor your bedtime habits currently are, you always have the power to get your sleep schedule back on track. Read on to assess your current sleep habits and learn how you can better catch all those sweet, sweet Z’s.

What Sleep Does

There are oh so many reasons to get an adequate amount of sleep. Not only does your body spend this time repairing itself, a healthy amount of sleep can improve mood, help with weight management, reduce stress, lower your risk for serious health problems, offer clearer thinking, improve your work and school performance, and more. The CDC recommends adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.

While scientists don’t entirely understand everything snoozing does for the human body and mind, we definitely know what happens when we don’t get enough of it. Even one night of sleep deprivation may result in daytime sleepiness, a foggy mind, physical and mental fatigue, difficulty concentrating, even memory impairment. Oh, and it turns out beauty sleep isn’t just an expression. Cellular stress is another result of sleeplessness, and it can show on your skin.

Practice Your Z’s

Lucky for you, even if you’re sleep deprived, there’s hope! Like any healthy routine, it all starts with making the effort until it’s a habit. Here are seven simple ways you can improve every snooze:

  • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends. Avoid sleep inertia by committing to a consistent sleep schedule seven days a week. Don’t worry about a few late nights a week, just make sure to wake up at the same time every day. Your body will adjust the next night by getting more tired, earlier. You’ll also find yourself waking up before your alarm more often, refreshed and ready to take on the day. It’s truly one of the greatest feelings on this earth.
  • Avoid stimulants like alcohol, sugar, and caffeine well before bedtime. The afternoon struggle is all too real, but turning to that pick-me-up cup of coffee may have adverse effects when it continues to pick you up at 10:00 p.m. Similarly, sugar and other simple, processed carbs will cause a spike and crash in blood sugar, affecting your circadian rhythm. Alcohol can help you get to sleep (nightcap, anyone?), but it actually interrupts rapid eye movement (REM), one of the five key stages of the sleep cycle.
  • Turn off the electronics an hour—or two—before slumber. You’re probably already familiar with the dreaded blue light flowing from our screens. Not only does this light throw our circadian rhythm off, long-term exposure may cause macular degeneration. Give your eyes a rest by avoiding screens for at least an hour before bedtime. Pick up a screen-free habit such as reading, meditating to sleep sounds, or other relaxing activities.
  • Develop a nightly skincare routine. Any excuse to treat your epidermis is a win-win for you and your skin. Adopting ­healthy skincare habits is good for any time of day, particularly as part of a nighttime routine—and it’s another excuse to avoid electronics. Put on some relaxing music and get to pampering.
  • Workouts are awesome for sleep—if you time them right. Regular exercise is a great way to promote a good night’s sleep, but it’s all about timing. Working out too close to bedtime will leave your body wide awake and wired for the next exciting activity. Instead of yoga too late into the evening, take a time-out with some mindfulness practices.
  • Chill out. When your core temperature drops, it’s a signal to your body to produce melatonin. Drop the temperature a few degrees, shower, wear fewer layers to bed, and throw on some socks—no, really.
  • Keep a sleep diary. Take a quick minute in the morning to jot down roughly what time you went to bed and what time you woke up, how many times you woke during the night, and how refreshing your sleep was. Make a short note of what you did the day before which may have contributed to a better or worse night’s sleep. You may be surprised how your new habits positively contribute to sleep quality!

Of course, life has a habit of derailing our best-laid plans. Whether it’s a rowdy pillow fight, the absolute need to watch the new episode of MasterChef Junior, traveling through too many time zones, or any number of other reasons, it’s unavoidable, at times, to end up restless at the end of the day. When you need occasional extra help to get into a sleepy-time state, consider a non–habit forming melatonin supplement. An extra dose of melatonin can help support your body’s natural circadian rhythms for those challenging nights. One option is Pure Rest™, USANA’s fast-acting melatonin supplement.*

Nighty Night

What are your go-to tips for getting the best sleep? For me, it was taking a step back and realizing I needed to make sleep a priority. Once I scheduled in time to wind down—and swapped my phone for a good historical fiction and some tea—the rest fell into place.

Drop your advice below!

*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.

Healthy Cove

Sleep Sounds to Help You Snooze

Sleep Sounds: Mug

Reruns of old Friends episodes, the pitter-patter of rainfall on a tin roof, classical music—there are countless sleep sounds people listen to when trying to hit the hay at night.

We all know that sleep is pretty darn important, but if you’re having a hard time falling asleep, consider some of the following popular sleep sound options to help you get a restful night’s sleep.

Calmsound

If you enjoy the gentle sound of waves breaking on the shore, check out Calmsound Nature Sounds. They provide a variety of both videos and albums that can be downloaded online or purchased through Amazon. The dreamy sounds of an Australian summer morning at Coogee Beach seriously had me bobbing my head at my desk as I listened. Sigh.

Sound of Sleep Machine

The Sound+Sleep machine provides you with a pretty wide range of realistic, natural sound environments. (Apparently, they really do use naturally recorded sounds like a bubbling brook or the sound of leaves blowing in the wind. Also, they claim to never loop, so you don’t have to worry about getting bored from repetition.)

This machine comes with a 3″ speaker that can easily fit on your nightstand. It also comes with a small headphone jack so you can kick back and relax without disturbing your partner. Or the neighbors upstairs. Or the cat. Meow.

Sleep Sounds Mobile App

Sleep Sounds: TableI legit just downloaded this app by Relaxio from the Google Play Store on my phone and have had an absolute ball listening to the different sounds. My favorite so far is “Vintage Train.” The cool part? You can set a timer anywhere from one minute to eight hours. You can also add in additional sounds, which makes it a very customized experience. (I added the sound of a rainstorm to the mix and the effect was magical. I felt like I was napping on the Hogwarts Express.)

For iOS, try a similar app called Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds, White Noise & Fan.

Head Space

Have a stressful final to take in school or a presentation to give? Maybe you just need to chill out before going to bed? Try using Headspace. This app helps you connect with your body and mind through guided meditation. There are tons of benefits associated with meditating. In fact, one Harvard study shows that practicing mediation may actually help with sleep.

If you’d like to give mediation a whirl, Headspace has a meditation series specifically for sleep that helps create the inner and outer conditions for you to properly zonk out.

Breath in. Breathe out. Now sleep.

Spotify

Even your Spotify account has some awesome sleep sound options. If you’re in the mood for quiet music, you can listen to some calming acoustic guitar solos, some fun Indian music, or even peaceful flute music. If you prefer nature sounds, crawl under your covers, turn on your shuffle, and get ready to enjoy the pleasant sounds of a rainforest storm.

From A to Zzz

These aren’t the only solutions for sleep—there are tons of mobile apps designed to help you sleep better tonight. Discover your favorite go-to sleep sounds for a night of blissful rest. And if all else fails, there’s also a little something called Pure Rest.*

Sleep Sounds Pure Rest

Well my friend, are you ready to get some sleep? Tell Little Bo Beep to grab her sheep—you won’t be counting them anymore.

Are you interested in learning more about our products or becoming a USANA Independent Associate, check out our website at http://www.lindah.usana.com or your can contact us direct at eastcoastlifesolutions@gmail.com