· By Graham Sorkin
How to Celebrate National Sleep Awareness Week 2023 With Functional Chocolate
It is no secret that sleep is an important component to achieving optimal health. In fact, The National Sleep Foundation is so passionate about educating the public on the health benefits of sleep that they started an annual campaign called Sleep Awareness Week, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
During the week of March 12-18, The NSF provides evidence based information on best sleep practices and tips. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness on the importance of sleep health and how it impacts overall health. Because many adults struggle to sleep well, it is important to promote healthy sleep habits and raise awareness around the impact it has on your health.
Why Is Sleep Such an Important Part of Your Overall Health?
While today’s fast paced society prioritizes the grind over rest, it is essential to take care of your health so you don’t crash.
Some of the most important acts of self care include: healthy diet, exercise, good water intake, and at least 7 hours of sleep each night. When you get the recommended amount of sleep each night, you are giving your body enough time to rest and repair itself. This will have a lasting impact on your health in a number of ways.
Some of the areas where quality sleep can improve your health include:
- Brain function and memory
- Maintain healthy weight
- Better energy and endurance
- Heart health
- Mental health
- Stronger immune system
How to Prepare for Great Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep starts hours before you go to bed. Implementing healthy sleep habits into your daily routine will help you get the consistent rest your body needs to be healthy.
Your natural circadian rhythm tells you when it is time to sleep and wake. Keeping this in mind, you should aim to fall asleep and wake up around the same time each day. This will keep your body and brain synced up so you can easily fall asleep on a regular basis. If you are having a hard time falling asleep, don’t turn to a screen to fight boredom. Instead, do something quiet that doesn't require a ton of light, such as reading or organizing a drawer.
But, good sleep goes beyond getting to bed at a decent time. There are a number of ways to promote good sleep before you hit the sack which are equally important. In addition to following a sleep schedule, your sleep quality could also benefit from the following practices.
- Don’t eat a large meal close to bedtime. Instead, stick with a light healthy snack if it is absolutely necessary, and plan to have dinner at least a couple of hours before you plan on going to bed.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day and avoid caffeinated drinks in the afternoon/evening hours, easing up on the liquids close to bedtime.
- Keep your sheets clean, and your room at a cool comfortable temperature.
- Avoid screen time at least 30 minutes before bed and keep your lights low in the evening.
- Practice soothing rituals before bed – skincare routine, calming tea, journaling/reading, meditation and/or yoga to name a few.
- Try not to consume alcohol before bed.
- Maintain a regular exercise routine that you enjoy.
Botanicals that Promote Better Sleep
Another natural way to help promote better sleep is through the use of quality botanicals.
There have been many studies that point to the potential sleep promoting benefits found in several common herbs. In addition to working with your family practitioner for chronic sleep problems, the following herbs may help you fall asleep quicker and sleep longer.
- Valerian root- This herb interacts with neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin to promote sleep. It can take 2 weeks of using the herb to notice its effect on sleep.
- Lavender- This herb is very popular as an essential oil for aromatic purposes and as an ingestible supplement. In safe amounts, it can help reduce stress and calm anxiety.
- Chamomile- This herb is also popular for use against stress to promote a sense of calm relaxation.
- Lemon balm- This ancient root has been used throughout history to treat a variety of ailments. When it comes to sleep, lemon balm is said to ease tension and nervousness that may impact sleep quality.
Celebrate Sleep Awareness Week and Harness the Power of Sleep Promoting Botanicals!
With our Sleepy Chocolate, you are just a few nibbles away from a delightful night’s rest. With a blend of the herbs listed above along with the clinically researched benefits of magnesium and melatonin, this delicious bar will help you sleep without lingering effects the next day.
Order any of our chocolates today for your health realities!