Sleep Troubles Affect Almost Everyone
We all have trouble sleeping sometimes, and many Americans have regular insomnia.
According to SleepHealth.Org, 70% of adults report insufficient sleep at least one night per month, and 11% of adults have insufficient sleep every night. Estimates suggest sleep problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans across all socioeconomic and age groups.
The Impact of Poor Sleep
Poor sleep negatively impacts health in many ways, from increasing stress, weight gain, and disease risk to lowering energy, brain function, and even hormone problems. On the flip side, good sleep helps with overall health and wellness.
Tips To Help with Sleep
There are many approaches to optimizing your sleep - both for falling asleep quickly, sleeping through the night and for waking up rested. We’ll share some of our favorite tips and tricks to get better sleep.
Create The Right Environment
Sleep Hygiene is a term used by experts to refer to good sleep habits.
The Center for Disease Control & Prevention suggests making sure “your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.” Some people prefer white noise while sleeping as opposed to silence or interruptive background noise. If you want a good night’s sleep, then try a white noise machine or app. A fan can provide both background noise and a cooling breeze.
Another element of sleep hygiene is only using your bed for sleep and other ‘bedroom activities’. Bad sleep habits like spending too much time in bed watching TV or on your phone make it harder to fall asleep.
Exposure to bright lights including natural sunlight during the day keeps your circadian rhythm on track, which is linked to daytime energy and nighttime sleep quality. One study found that two hours of bright light exposure during the day increased sleep by two hours and sleep efficiency by 80% in a group of older adults.
While exposure to bright and natural light during the day is beneficial, nighttime light exposure has the opposite effect. Bright lights “trick” your body into thinking it’s daytime, which reduces hormones like melatonin, which are essential to relaxation and sleep.
Avoid Blue Light from Devices
Blue light emitted by electronic devices including smartphones and computers is one of the worst night time distractions. There are several methods to reduce blue light exposure. Special glasses, apps or phone settings can filter blue light.
Ultimately, the best approach is to stop watching TV or looking at other devices two hours before going to bed.
Once in bed, your sleep environment should be as dark as possible. There are tools that help with this, but black out curtains are generally the most popular to get better sleep.
Make a Sleep Schedule & Stick To It
While everyone is different, most experts agree that the majority of adults should sleep for eight hours, and not less than seven.
As much as possible, go to bed and get up at the same time every day. If this isn’t always possible due to work or family schedules, limit the difference in your schedule to no more than one hour. This consistency reinforces your body's natural sleep-wake cycle so you sleep better.
A Healthy Diet Improves Sleep Quality
Going to bed hungry or overly full negatively impacts sleep. Heavy meals just before bed cause discomfort and indigestion that keeps you up. Hunger can be just as disruptive.
What You Eat and Drink Impact Sleep
There are many foods and supplements that contain compounds studied for improving sleep and relaxation - from linalool in lavender to L-Tryptophan in turkey.
Limit caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. The stimulant effects of caffeine and nicotine take hours to wear off and upset your normal sleep quality. Even though alcohol makes you feel sleepy and fall asleep quickly, scientists link it to many sleep problems.
While dark chocolate contains a small amount of caffeine, products like The Functional Chocolate Company’s Sleepy Chocolate that pair vegan dark chocolate with blends of natural sleep supplements including valerian, lavender, L-Tryptophan, magnesium and melatonin have been reported by many to be a great way to fall asleep quickly, stay asleep through the night, and wake up refreshed.
Daily Exercise for a Good Night’s Sleep
Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep notes there is solid evidence that exercise helps you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality. However, for some people, exercising late in the day interferes with how well they rest through the night.
Getting into a daily exercise regimen has countless benefits including better sleep, and is a great idea for almost everyone. If you have trouble mustering enough energy to exercise, vegan Energy Chocolate from The Functional Chocolate Company is a great option to help put some pep in your step.
Manage Stress & Anxiety For Better Sleep
The world is an increasingly crazy place and people don’t know how to sleep better at night. Stress and anxiety from the day keep people up at night.
Working to resolve concerns before bedtime helps ensure you fall asleep more quickly with less tossing and turning.
There are a number of approaches to stress management including improving organization, setting priorities, exercising, journaling and meditation. The Functional Chocolate Company’s Carefree Chocolate is a great option for reducing stress and anxiety with botanicals and supplements including passionflower, lemon balm, GABA and Kava Kava.
Check out some other tips for naturally managing stress and anxiety here.
Why Can’t I Sleep
The benefits of a good night’s sleep are invaluable, and there are many ways to help ensure you fall asleep quickly, stay asleep and wake up well rested. Don’t wait another night to try these tips.
If you want to learn more about how our chocolate helps you sleep, then please contact us today.