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How to Preserve Brain Health With Good Sleep Habits

Chances are that you’re not getting enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting seven to nine hours of shut-eye each night. [1] However, according to the CDC, only one-third of Americans do so.

A lack of sleep impairs brain function and memory, besides preventing it from flushing out toxins, according to the National Institutes of Health. [3] To help you combat this, we’ve put together a combination of different apps, dietary changes, and habits that will help you sleep better.

Start With Good Sleeping Habits

Sleep quality and habits that help facilitate that are crucial, especially as you grow older. According to Sleep Education, [4] older adults wake up more often during the night and produce less of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time to develop a rhythm.

2. Get into bed only if you’re sleepy, stay away if you can’t fall asleep.

3. Avoid bright screens and lights thirty minutes before bedtime. Each person’s circadian rhythm is regulated by light exposure, according to The National Sleep Foundation. [5]

4. Condition your body by only using your bed to sleep

5. Cut back on alcohol because it will bring down your melatonin levels, explains Sleep Doctor, [6] and mess up stages of sleep, which leads to fatigue.

Apps for a Good Night’s Sleep

Here are our sleep app recommendations:

Sleep Cycle is an app that uses motion detection and a smartphone microphone to track sleep cycles to wake you at the best time.

Apple Bedtime is a part of the clock on every iPhone. With it, you can set your wake and bedtime to keep a consistent sleeping schedule.

Pzziz helps with both power naps and a full night of sleep. The app offers soothing sounds to help you sleep, besides advanced features that keep track of the best sleeping music.

Relax Melodies lets you customize sounds to help you sleep. It also lets you pick from many different sleep meditations and sounds aimed at giving you a good night’s sleep.

-Sleep Well Hypnosis puts you to sleep through guided meditation and soothing sounds that relax both your mind and body.

Natural Drinks and Foods for Good Sleep

We already mentioned that some drinks and foods like alcohol and fatty meals prevent you from sleeping. But there are also ones that help you relax and sleep. Here’s our list:

1. Chamomile tea has apigenin, an antioxidant which interacts with neural recepts to reduce anxiety, claims a study from the Molecular Medicine Reports. [7]

2. Valerian root is a popular sleeping aid supplement that boosts drowsiness, as is explained in a study from the American Journal of Medicine. [8]

3. Nuts like walnuts or almonds increase melatonin production, which helps you sleep, as stated by the National Sleep Foundation. [9]

4. Kiwi before bed can help you fall asleep easier than avoiding meals before bed, found a research paper from the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. [10]

5. Cherry juice, especially tart juice, has manganese, Vitamins A and C, and melatonin which helps with insomnia, according to studies from The FASEB Journal. [11]

For more tips, habits, and treatments to help you sleep better, search online to find the best options for you.

[1] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times/page/0/1

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html

[3] https://www.nation.com/get-more-sleep-better-sleep-habits-lead-to-better-brain-health/

[4] http://www.sleepeducation.org/news/2013/08/07/sleep-and-growing-older

[5] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/lights-out-good-nights-sleep

[6] https://www.thesleepdoctor.com/2017/11/15/truth-alcohol-sleep/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394901/

[9] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/food-and-drink-promote-good-nights-sleep

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21669584 [11] https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.28.1_supplement.830.9

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