We’ve heard it for decades now and the truth is still clear: sleep is incredibly important. Whether you are young or old (or anywhere in between), skipping out on sleep can cause a number of health issues you should really watch out for. Your precious Z’s are linked to anything from hypertension to stress to poor heart and brain health.
With sleep deprivation on the rise due to things like stress or screen time, many are looking for solutions to not just improve the quality of their sleep, but also to fall asleep in the first place. It’s not surprising when you consider how many of us are looking at our phones, computer screens, or TVs for hours right before we go to bed. Because of the blue light these electronics emit, screen time before bed essentially tells our brains that it is still daylight outside, which prevents it from releasing melatonin – the hormone that makes us sleepy.
It’s best to stop using your phone or screens a couple of hours before bed. If you really need to, get a blue blocker app that will cut the blue light from your screen so your brain knows what time it really is.
So, are you getting enough sleep? The following are some of the most common symptoms of sleep disorders:
Depression and anxiety
Tiredness in the morning
Waking up too early
Getting enough sleep can boost your health in many ways:
It improves your immune system
It boosts mental well-being and good concentration
It increases sex drive and fertility
It creates better moods during the day
Now that you know how important sleep is, let’s look at another effective tool for helping you get to sleep while you work on improving your sleep hygiene in other ways.
Before you grab a sleeping pill, which is typically not a good idea unless you’ve been through many natural and lifestyle changes first and still couldn’t get anything to work (this includes doing things like emotional work as well), try out this fantastic tea recipe that tastes great and works well.
The ingredients are simple, so you most likely already have them in your home, and it takes only minutes to prepare.
1 banana (organic)
A dash of cinnamon
1 small pot of water
Cut the ends of the banana and add it to a pot of boiling water. Leave for 10 minutes, then pour the water through a colander into a tea cup. Add cinnamon to spice up your taste and you are good to enjoy!
This banana cinnamon tea should be consumed an hour before you go to sleep.
A big part of sleep is being well nourished and also welcoming relaxation. Bananas contain high amounts of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and magnesium, and all of these minerals help nourish your body and encourage your muscles to relax, so the rest of the work is just about allowing yourself and your mind to quiet down. When you add cinnamon to the mix, not only are you making things taste great, but you are also adding another relaxation (and circulation and digestive) powerhouse into the mix.
Further Notes On Sleep
An interesting study looked at sleep and cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. During 10-15 years of follow-up, short sleepers (less than 6 hours) had a 23% higher risk of coronary artery disease compared to normal sleepers (more than 7 hours), even after adjustment for all other possible factors. Short sleepers with poor sleep quality had a 79% higher risk of heart disease when compared to normal sleepers with good sleep quality. On a side note, sleeping longer than 9 hours provided no benefit. Data from 1964 found those people who slept 7-8 hours had the lowest chance of dying over a 3-year follow-up.
A study in 2006 demonstrated that poor sleep doubles the risk of hypertension. This study even corrected for other factors, such as the fact that poor sleepers may be more stressed, or are more likely to be smokers. A similar article from 2013 found middle-age nurses had a higher risk of hypertension when they had poor sleep patterns.
 SLEEP 2011;34(11):1487-1492.
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