Thursday, June 13, 2024
Health & Happiness

The perfect night’s sleep is within reach

Not getting enough shut eye on a consistent basis can have health consequences, but thankfully there are some practices and products that can make bedtime truly blissful.

The world can be terrifying and our over-stimulating phones, which are always a delivery system for doom-scrolling and diversion, are the worst things we can have bedside when we are trying to drift off. But we do have some tips and tricks for how to set yourself up for the perfect night’s sleep and the best things to keep in your bedroom if you want a blissful night in bed—sleeping.


Products we love

Drowsy Sleep Mask

Getting a good night’s sleep can depend on whether or not you can create an environment of total darkness. If you have unwanted sources of light, whether that’s your electronics, or a street light, or your catching forty winks during the day, then check out these soft, silky luxury masks from Drowsy. We love everything about them. They are face-hugging, padded, substantial silk cocoons that don’t shift or slip off when you roll over or move in your sleep. From Sunset Pink to L’Amour Gold, they come in lovely designer colors that will match your bedding. Made from 100% natural mulberry silk, they are completely light-blocking plus they protect your hair and skin while you sleep.


Lincove Canadian Sleeping Pillow

Made from humanely-sourced Canadian white down, selected for its luxurious warmth, softness, superior resilience, and loft that is unmatched by synthetic fills or feather pillows that poke and crinkle. Enjoy the perfect combo of 500 thread count cotton shell and 800 fill fluffy pillow, delivering a luxurious cloud-like sleeping experience, night after night. Elegantly packaged in its very own custom travel case, so you never have to go without when you’re on the move. This is the perfect pillow for side sleepers, stomach sleepers, and back sleepers. Lincove pillows form to your body contour, ensuring support for your head and neck once you drift off to blanket bay. The Signature pillow is the product of deep industry knowledge, dedicated research and testing, and premium materials, made to deliver the dreamiest and most rejuvenating sleep experience.


Editor’s Pick: DOZ Organic Bamboo Sheets

Wow, just wow. DOZ is, as the tagline says, bedding made better and we feel sure in saying these will be the most luxurious and yet affordable bedsheets you’ll ever invest in. Luxury, sustainability, design and good health in one fabulous bundle! We are huge fans of the 100% Organic Bamboo Sheet Set but don’t take our word for it; check out the 4.5-5-star ratings! The silkiness, the heft, and the quality of fabric and stitching all for the price are what make the award-winning DOZ an Editor’s Pick. And these sheet sets come in an array of subtle designer colors such as Blush, Fog, Dove, and Storm. And if you don’t like sheets with sheen, check out DOZ’s Long Staple Classic Percale Cotton Sheets. These are still cool, crisp sheets but they come in a matte finish and a durable hotel style. Be sure to check out the full range of sheet and duvet sets, and if you still like a little extra bedding on cooler nights, there are organic comforters and blankets, too. Simple, minimalist, practical and luxe, DOZ will revolutionize your sleeping environment by improving what goes next to your skin.


Genuine Health Deep Sleep Supplement

When you’re having trouble turning off your mind and getting into rest mode, try Genuine Health’s Deep Sleep supplement.  It has therapeutic levels of melatonin (your sleep hormone!), GABA, L-theanine, magnesium bisglycinate, and reishi mushroom to help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up rested and ready for your joyous day ahead!

Deep Sleep by Genuine Health

Tips from Genuine Health for better sleeping habits

When we sleep there are many incredible healing processes that take place, which is why restorative sleep is one of the most important pillars of joyous health. I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that sleep issues like insomnia are on the rise. In fact, current research suggests that we’re actually sleeping 2 fewer hours per night than we were 50 years ago. That’s definitely not a trend we want to continue!

Consistently missing out on deep sleep causes an inevitable decline in our overall health. In fact, even one night of poor sleep can impact our hormone balance, appetite regulation, mood, focus, metabolism, and immune function. To get a deeper understanding of what happens in the body when we’re not sleeping deeply, let’s look at some of the health consequences that can occur.

A lack of sleep:

INCREASES YOUR APPETITE & DECREASES METABOLIC FUNCTION

Lack of sleep can cause an increase in appetite, especially for sugars and carbs since our body knows these are quick sources of energy that can help us get through the day. Sleep deprivation increases a hormone called ghrelin, which is what tells your body “I’m hungry.” Unfortunately it also decreases a hormone called leptin that sends the signal “I’m full.” Research has found that those who sleep fewer than 8 hours per night have an increased BMI proportional to a decrease in sleep.

This hormonal pattern of increased ghrelin and decreased leptin, is consistent with decreased energy expenditure i.e. it slows down your metabolism. It’s also associated with increased appetite and the development of obesity.

DECREASES YOUR IMMUNE FUNCTION

When you sleep, your body is producing immune cells called cytokines that help the body fight off viruses and infections. If you’re not getting enough deep rest, you may not produce enough of these cytokines, which can increase the likelihood of getting sick when you’re exposed to a virus and can impact how long it takes you to recover.

BOOSTS INFLAMMATORY CHEMICALS, WHICH CAN SHORTEN YOUR LIFESPAN

When you sleep fewer than 8 hours a night, research shows that inflammatory chemicals are elevated! Inflammation is detrimental to health and has been found to shorten one’s lifespan. This impact on inflammatory levels is why it’s so important to get a good night’s rest to prevent illness down the line.

INCREASES YOUR RISK OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE & HEART DISEASE

When we’re sleeping our blood pressure naturally drops and takes pressure off of our heart and blood vessels. Chronically elevated blood pressure is associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke, so it’s important to get your Zs every night! People who habitually sleep under 7 hours are also more likely to experience heart attacks and other cardiovascular events.

DECREASES YOUR ABILITY TO FOCUS

Have you ever felt that “drunk” feeling when you wake up after a poor night’s sleep, yet you haven’t had a drop of alcohol? Well, that’s because lack of sleep impairs simple functions such as attention, learning, and a range of cognitive functions. That means even one night of poor sleep can wreak havoc on your focus and attention!

When you’re sleeping, your body also activates something called the “glymphatic system.” This system helps clear toxins from the brain and shuttles around important compounds like sugars, proteins, fats, and neurotransmitters to help your brain function optimally. If you don’t get enough sleep, this glymph system can’t turn on to protect your brain for a focused and joyous life.

CAUSES A LOSS OF PRODUCTIVITY

A Harvard study found that people with insomnia lost an estimated 11 days of productivity per year. When you’re struggling to get the daily basics done, it’s doubtful that you’ll have the energy to care for your physical, mental, and emotional health. When you’re tired and just barely keeping your head above water, it’s no surprise that self-care falls down your list of priorities, which can cause negative health consequences over time.

WHY AREN’T YOU SLEEPING AND WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

If you’re struggling to fall asleep there are a few areas of your life to check in with.

Blue light emitted from cell phones, tablets, computers, laptops, and TVs after dark. The blue light interferes with the signaling of the pineal gland that regulates our melatonin production- which we need to fall asleep!

Lack of time spent outdoors. One of my foundations of a joyous life is getting out in nature for at least 20-30 minutes a day. That’s because the sunlight helps modulate our natural circadian rhythm.

Not getting enough natural daylight in your day. A great way to help regulate your circadian rhythm is by getting outside first thing in the morning for a couple of minutes to expose yourself to daylight! The key is to actually get outside and get daylight exposure as it’s not the same behind a window, unfortunately.

Stress. We are more stressed than ever, which can throw our cortisol and melatonin levels out of balance and leave us feeling tired, but wired! Try incorporating moments of mindfulness into your day to manage stress.

If you’re looking for acute support to help you sleep, I don’t recommend reaching for sleep medications since about 80% of people who take them report residual side effects like oversleeping, feeling groggy, and having a hard time focusing the next day. That is the opposite of joyous!

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Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

Queer Forty Staff has 2404 posts and counting. See all posts by Queer Forty Staff

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