Deborah Fellinger
Health & Wellness

Don't zzz on sleep

A third of adult Americans don’t get enough sleep. And that’s far from ideal, as lack of sleep can increase your risk for weight gain and obesity, developing heart disease, and getting sick.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hour of sleep per night for adults ages 18-64. For adults 65 and older, 7-8 hours is recommended. Try these tips to help you get a restful night’s sleep.

Install a red light filter
Short-wavelength blue light from electronic devices can suppress melatonin. (Melatonin is a hormone produced by your body to help regulate your circadian rhythm. When melatonin levels rise in your blood, your alertness goes down.) Set a red light filter on your phone and computer when you use your devices in the evening. Many iOS phones include this feature, or try an app like Twilight for Android. For computers, f.lux is a good light-filtering option.

Establish a sleep routine
Bring calming activities into your evening routine before bed. Taking a shower, reading, listening to music, having a cup of tea, meditation can be part of your process to relax before sleep. Whatever it is, keep it consistent, and try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. If waking up is hard to do, try a sleep calculator to determine when you should fall asleep.

Try magnesium
Magnesium is a necessary mineral that supports nearly every function of your body. Unfortunately, many of us operate with a “suboptimal” level of magnesium. There’s evidence magnesium could help you sleep. Sources of magnesium include almonds, cashews, leafy greens, and avocado. If you prefer a supplement, try a magnesium oil spray before bed. (Magnesium supplements in pill form rough on the stomach for some folks.)

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Deborah Fellinger
Content strategist at Zest Health. Writes copy, drinks coffee. Author of this and other sentences.