Getting quality sleep regularly has numerous health benefits, including improved cognitive function, increased productivity and better emotional stability. However, many people struggle with sleep-related issues daily, such as insomnia or poor sleep quality. 

Fortunately, it's possible to adopt several healthy habits to promote better sleep. Additionally, sleep supplements can offer a natural and effective aid to those seeking improved sleep.

In this article, we will explore some of the best supplements for sleep while also discussing the healthy habits that can help you sleep naturally and peacefully.

Sleep supplements and benefits

Sleep supplements can provide natural support for those experiencing sleep difficulties. While it is critical to consult a doctor before starting any new supplement regimen, certain sleep supplements have shown promising results. Here are a few commonly used sleep supplements and their benefits:

  • Melatonin - Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone that aids the regulation of sleep-wake cycles. Supplementing with melatonin can benefit those experiencing jet lag or struggling to fall asleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, melatonin can improve sleep quality and help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. A study by the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews analyzed the effectiveness of melatonin supplementation in improving sleep quality. The researchers concluded that melatonin could effectively treat primary sleep disorders, especially those with delayed sleep phase disorder and insomnia.
  • Valerian root - Valerian root has been used for millennia as a herbal medicine to promote relaxation and enhance sleep quality. According to research, valerian root can help decrease the time you need to fall asleep and enhance overall sleep quality.
  • A meta-analysis published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews examined the effects of valerian root on sleep quality. The researchers found valerian root significantly improved subjective sleep quality and reduced sleep latency in individuals with sleep disorders.
  • Magnesium - The Journal of Research in Medical Sciences states magnesium supplementation can assist in increasing sleep efficiency and sleep time in people with insomnia. The impact of magnesium supplementation on sleep was studied in a comprehensive review published in the journal Nutrients. The review concluded that magnesium supplementation could improve subjective measures of insomnia, sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep onset latency.

However, it is notable that sleep supplements alone are insufficient, as you need to create a healthy habit promoting sound sleep. Here are some examples of things that will help you to achieve that healthy sleep habit.

i. Create a consistent sleep schedule:

Following a regular sleep pattern is one of the most critical components in attaining adequate sleep. Consistently adhering to bedtime and wake time promotes the functioning of the circadian rhythm, the body's natural clock. 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, developing regular bedtime and waketime routines can help you get better sleep, fall asleep faster and feel more refreshed upon waking.

ii. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine:

A soothing bedtime routine can indicate to your body that it's time to unwind and prepare for sleep. Relaxation activities, including reading a book, having a warm bath, or performing deep breathing techniques, can help lower stress and smooth the transition into sleep. The Mayo Clinic recommends incorporating relaxing rituals into your evening routine to promote better sleep.

iii. Create a sleep-conducive environment:

Creating a sleep-friendly atmosphere is critical for getting enough rest. Make sure that your bedroom is calm, quiet and dark. Purchase a comfy mattress as well as pillows that assist your favourite sleeping position. 

It can also help to limit your exposure to devices before going to bed, as the blue light produced by screens can hamper the production of melatonin, a hormone that governs sleep.

iv. Stimulants and alcohol should be avoided:

Consumption of caffeine and nicotine, especially close to bedtime, might disrupt sleep. Both chemicals have stimulating properties that can interfere with the regular sleep cycle. 

Based on a Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine study, it is best to avoid caffeine at least six hours before night to avoid sleep disruptions. While alcohol may cause drowsiness at first, it might harm the general quality of your sleep.

v. Exercise regularly:

Regular physical activity provides improved sleep quality. Moreover, according to the National Sleep Foundation, mild cardiovascular exercise can help shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and enhance overall sleep time.

vi. Practise stress management:

Anxiety and stress can severely disrupt slumber. Incorporating stress management techniques, such as yoga, meditation, or journaling, into your daily regimen can help ease the mind and foster tranquillity. A study released by JAMA Internal Medicine discovered that mindfulness meditation enhanced sleep quality in moderately sleep-disordered older adults.

Final thoughts

Incorporating healthy sleep habits into your routine can significantly improve your sleep quality and overall well-being. From establishing a consistent sleep schedule to creating a relaxing bedtime routine and ensuring a sleep-conducive environment, these habits can positively impact your sleep patterns. 

Furthermore, sleep supplements like melatonin, valerian root and magnesium can support those experiencing sleep difficulties. Notably, it is always advisable to consult a healthcare expert before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure they suit you. Prioritizing good sleep hygiene and adopting these healthy habits can lead to more restful nights and energised days.

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