Dr. Nicole Avena, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine Visiting Professor of Health Psychology, Princeton University, and author of “What to Eat When You’re Pregnant” shares her tips on how to get a better night’s sleep.
Fall Asleep in a Dark Room While Meditating – In today’s world, people are used to being constantly busy with long lists of tasks and goals to accomplish each day. Unfortunately, this mindset is hard to break from when getting into bed and so many people find themselves overstimulated by thoughts and worries right before they go to sleep. It is better to fall asleep while meditating as opposed to falling asleep in front of the TV or while scrolling on social media. Meditation will put you in a place with lower blood pressure, less anxiety, and a more relaxed physical state. This means that you are more likely to stay asleep and get quality sleep as your body and mind are in optimal conditions to get rest.
Exercise Frequently – Going outside frequently is important as exposure to sunlight helps the body maintain a healthy circadian rhythm and improve sleep. Exercise can also help tire out the body in a healthy way so that you find it easier to sleep.
Put Away Mobile Devices A Few Hours Before Bed – Move laptops, phones, and televisions away from the bedroom so you can unwind and prepare for a good night of sleep. If you are scrolling through social media while in bed, you may come across an inflammatory political post or see something sad that happened to a friend. These situations are bad for your mental health in general and can overstimulate your mind, making it difficult to properly fall asleep. Blue light that emits from phones and laptops can affect sleep as the wavelength of the blue light has been shown to disrupt REM sleep which is important for cognitive function and reduce the amount of melatonin produced in the body, which is a chemical that help us fall asleep.
Take a Dietary Supplement – You may want to think about a supplement like melatonin. Melatonin naturally rises in our bodies right before we fall asleep, and a supplement can help make it easier for you to fall asleep if you are struggling. vitafusion makes an easy-to-taste melatonin gummy.
Light Snacks – If you really can’t fight the hunger before bed, eating light snacks like PopCorners, cheese, and apples are fine for most people. A combination of carbs and protein or fat is a good rule to follow.