There are many things that play into the physical and mental well-being of men over sixty. Diet, exercise, and even stress can play an important role in how we perform on a daily basis. But, what if I told you that the single most beneficial thing for your body is a good night’s sleep? Every year there are more and more studies conducted that come to the same conclusion, a good night’s sleep can help maximize human performance.
The importance of sleep.
There may not be anything more important to the human body than high-quality sleep, except for maybe oxygen and water. The sleep/wake cycle is intimately linked to mental and physical performance. Sleep loss can result in not just less energy, but also lessen cognitive function, negatively affect athletic performance, cause a rise in blood pressure, weaken the immune system, and even contribute to higher levels of insulin resistance. Point blank, a quality night of sleep helps your brain function. A good night’s sleep can help increase both learning and problem solving skills, decrease depression and stress, and physically a good night’s sleep can decrease the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and even decrease the risk of obesity. Older men who get a quality night of sleep are better able to regulate their natural hormone levels, and increase their overall energy levels and reaction time.
Usage & side effects of sleeping pills.
Almost all prescription and over the counter sleeping pills come with the risk of side effects. Some of these side effects include: constipation, muscle aches, feeling of dizziness, trouble concentrating, headaches, and daytime sleepiness. The amount of side effects, and the intensity of side effects, depends on the specific medication, the dosage, how long it takes the body to process the sleeping pill, and many other factors. However, it’s almost impossible to determine which specific side effects you will experience prior to taking the sleeping pills. Not to mention the fact that sleeping pills are almost always considered to be for short-term use only, and prolonged usage can result in rebound insomnia, and daytime fatigue, a side effect that has been shown to be responsible for a large amount of automobile accidents per year.
There are some more natural types of sleeping pills on the market today. Many of which include ingredients such as: chamomile, Valerian root, kava kava, lemon balm, melatonin, and lavender. However, many professionals warn that certain herbal ingredients, such as St. John’s Wart, can interfere with common medications like blood thinners or birth control pills. It’s best to check with your doctor before starting any herbal medications.
Healthy sleeping tips & natural remedies.
Studies suggest that how we stimulate the brain can have an effect on the quality of our sleep. Many professionals suggest turning electronic devices off at least forty-five minutes prior to bed-time. Having relaxing bedtime rituals, and following a structured sleep schedule, will help your body fall into its natural sleeping rhythm, and lead to a higher quality sleep in the long run. Some other tips and natural remedies for a good night’s sleep include avoiding caffeine and nicotine, using the bedroom solely for sleep and sex, and making use of natural sleep aids, such as: exercise prior to bedtime, cooler temperatures (between 65-70 degrees is ideal), and using relaxation techniques like deep breathing, mediation, or even stretching prior to getting into bed.
Good sleep is essential to good living. Take the time to relax and put yourself into a natural sleep cycle that works best for your body. Start with 7-8 quality hours of sleep, and talk to your medical provider if you’re experiencing difficulty sleeping or symptoms of insomnia.