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.

Coast Lifestyle

5 TIPS TO RESET YOUR DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME CLOCK

For most areas in North America, our clocks will spring forward an hour on Sunday, March 10, as we begin Daylight Saving Time. Basically, this moves an hour of morning daylight to the evening. While this gives us “longer” days that bleed into summer nights, this change can shake up bedtime routines and cause restless nights for up to a week.

Here are a few tips to keep you sleeping soundly during Daylight Saving Time and beyond.

Plan Ahead

Tips to Reset Your Daylight Saving Time Clock: clock

Have you ever wondered why it’s recommended adults get between 7–9 hours of sleep every night? Or why, when you stay up too late or travel, it takes a few days to recover? Our sleep and wake cycles—or circadian rhythms—follow a 24-hour cycle. These rhythms influence nearly everything in your body, such as hormone release, digestion, maintaining normal blood pressure, hunger, and body temperature.

Leading up to and following Daylight Saving Time, a consistent sleep routine that supports your body’s natural rhythms becomes even more important. About a week before your clocks change, start going to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. Increase this by an additional 15 minutes every few nights and you’ll be ready for some easy shuteye come time change time.

Unplug

An easy way to carve out that additional 15 minutes of sleep is to power down for the evening. Digital devices can keep your mind occupied, and you awake. The light—TV included—reduces your body’s melatonin production. This is the helpful hormone that regulates your circadian rhythms.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends shutting off your devices as early as is realistic and to, instead, read a book.

Tips to Reset Your Daylight Saving Time Clock: Bed

Take a Short Nap

If you have a hard time making it through the first week of Daylight Saving Time, catch a quick nap instead of that mid-afternoon cup of coffee. Even a short rest of around 20–30 minutes can help with alertness and performance and—most importantly for some—mood.

Tips to Reset Your Daylight Saving Time Clock: Nap

Taking one or two brief naps throughout the week can be a serene way to help regulate your body and help you feel more refreshed after lost sleep. Valuable tip: if you’re sneaking away from your desk at work, set an alarm.

Exercise Early, Rest Late

Some experts recommend exercising in the morning to really see those sleepy time gains. According to an Appalachian State University study, subjects who exercised in the morning had a consistent decrease in blood pressure throughout the day. They also showed a more significant drop at night, slept longer, and had better sleep cycles.

A morning endorphin boost also helps wake you up to focus on the rest of your day.

If you can’t fit in a morning workout, there isn’t a wrong time to exercise. Whether done morning or night, moderate physical activity can reduce stress and tire you out, paving the way for longer, higher quality sleep.

Supplement Your Sleep

Tips to Reset Your Daylight Saving Time Clock: Pure Rest

If you’ve tried the other tips and you still need help getting enough sleep, consider trying a melatonin supplement.*

A quality supplement, such as Pure Rest™, can tell your body it’s time for sleep by

complementing your body’s natural melatonin production. Not only will this support your sleep-wake cycle, but it can help you get a dreamy night’s rest.*

Visit the USANA shop today for a restful night’s sleep.

SHOP HERE

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