With the New Year right around the corner, we are sure most of you have started listing your resolutions. A previous year’s Inc. study showed that the most leading resolutions were to stop smoking, better diet and lifestyle habits, exercise, saving more money, and other common stuff, which have typically been on the list for decades, and we do not think the list is going to change much for the upcoming New Year either.
Sure, all these habits are needed to reap many health benefits in the long run, but more often than not, people skip on one of the most important elements needed for a life of holistic wellness – SLEEP.
In our previous blog, we briefly elucidated the importance of sleep, and how it affects employee health and overall productivity at the workplace. Also, we spilled a few beans on how to plan wellness challenges for the corporate wellness programs to help your employees sleep better.
In this blog, we talk of simple tips that people can implement in their everyday life for better sleep and to reap many undiscovered health benefits.
1. Regulating Light Exposure For Better Sleep
Your body’s circadian rhythm is what keeps a check on your body, mind, hormones, and overall wellness. Exposure to natural sunlight improves daytime energy and aids in quality sleep during night time. However, exposure to light, especially blue light during the evening or later tricks the brain into producing lesser melatonin – the hormone that relaxes and induces sleep. So, regulate your exposure to light during the right times for better sleep quality.
2. Have A Balanced Diet For Good Sleep And Wellness Benefits
A nutritious balanced diet that includes different food groups in the right proportions is needed not just for a good night’s sleep, but also for overall health benefits. Make it a point to include fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and Vitamin-B sources like low-fat dairy, proteins like poultry, fish, and meat, etc., to provide adequate nutrition to your body, since B Vitamins regulate the production of melatonin. Also, avoid foods that could cause gastro esophageal reflux (GERD) disturbing the sleep cycle.
3. Avoid Caffeine Consumption In The Evenings
Caffeine keeps you active, enhances focus, and adds energy, which could be on the downside when consumed late during the day or before bedtime. Having coffee or a caffeinated drink at night or late in the evening stimulates the nervous system, bringing down the sleep quality and quantity. Since caffeine stays in the blood for a good 6 -8 hours, it is recommended that your last cup of caffeinated drink be not after 3 – 4 pm.
4. Take Supplements That Allow Relaxation
The key to good sleep is to keep your body and brain relaxed. Natural supplements like Ginkgo biloba, Valerian root, lavender, or synthetic supplements of melatonin, Magnesium, L-theanine, or glycine can relax the mind and help induce sleep. However, it is always better to consult a physician before taking chemical or synthetic supplements.
5. Aromatherapy For Sleep Benefits
Aromatherapy is probably the oldest system being practiced diligently in the modern era too. The aroma of the essential oils passes sensory data and signals to the thalamus and other parts of the brain to relax. Reducing anxiety, depression, stress, and other mental disorders, aromatherapy for sleep typically uses essential oils like – lavender, geranium, valerian root, chamomile, and more. These oils can be used with a diffuser, as a bath oil or salt, applying a drop on the wrist and smelling it to sleep, a drop on the pillow, or make a natural mist or room freshener of it. However, check for any possible allergic reactions or use diluted oils for topical applications.
Apart from these simple tip-offs, exercising well during the day also tires out the body which puts you to a good night’s sleep, along with offering other health benefits.
So, if you looking to improve your employee engagement, health, workplace culture, and overall organizational productivity, make sure that you provide your employees with the right workplace wellness programs, wellness challenges, and other amenities that encourage them to eat well, exercise, and sleep better, to achieve holistic wellness.