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The Critical Importance of Sleep: Are You Getting Enough? What to Do if You Aren't

3 minutes to read

02/21/2020

Trying to function on not enough sleep can leave you feeling foggy in the brain and heavy on your feet the next day. But a chronic lack of sleep can take a devastating toll on your physical and mental health.

Regular sleeplessness increases your risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, and it can even shorten your life expectancy. On the flip side, adequate sleep boosts your immune system, helps you stay slim and trim, and boosts your mental wellbeing. It also improves your sex drive and helps to prevent heart disease.

Most people need around eight hours of sleep each night to function optimally. Some people can get by on six or seven hours, while others may need as many as nine hours. In general, if you're tired after you wake up and have trouble getting through the day without a nap, you may need more sleep at night.

But what if you can’t fall asleep or your night sleep is frequently interrupted? More than 80 sleep disorders have been identified, including insomnia, restless leg syndrome, hyper-somnolence disorder, nightmare disorder, and circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders. Estimates indicate that around 50 to 70 million Americans have some sort of sleep-related problem.

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An enlarged prostate can also lead to issues with sleep. The increased sense of urgency and lack of ability to fully empty your bladder when you get to the bathroom can increase the frequency of bathroom trip. Continuously needing to get up and go during the night can play a major impact on the quality of you and your partner's sleep.

So, what can you do if you can't sleep? The answer may lie in the circumstances that surround your bedtime and sleep routine – called your sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene improves your chances of getting a good night's sleep, while poor sleep hygiene can lead to sleeplessness. Here's what you can try to improve your sleep hygiene and finally get a good night’s sleep.


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Sync with your natural sleep cycle.

Having a regular sleeping schedule helps better regulate your body's internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, which in turn can help you sleep and function better. To sync your sleep habits with your circadian rhythm, strive to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including on the weekends. Limit naps to no longer than 20 minutes in the afternoon.


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Maintain optimal light exposure at critical times.

First thing in the morning, expose yourself to bright sunlight to help signal your body that it's time to wake up. Spend time outside in the sunshine each day, and strive to make your workspace as bright with natural light as possible.

At night, turn off bright screens an hour or two before your set bedtime, since the blue light from your phone or TV can suppress melatonin, the hormone that signals sleep, and disrupt your circadian rhythm. Sleep in a very dark room, and if you have to get up during the night, keep the lights as low as possible.


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Spend time winding down before bed.

Going to bed when your mind is active and alert can make falling asleep a struggle. Spend the hour or so before bedtime winding down without screens. A bedtime ritual such as taking a bath, reading a book, or listening to music can help quiet the chit-chat in your brain so you can doze off quickly once you're in bed. If you find it hard to shut down your mind, try deep breathing meditation sleep exercises, which lower stress hormones that can keep you awake.


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Limit food and drinks before bed.

To prevent having to get up in the middle of the night, avoid drinking a lot of liquids in the evening. Avoid drinking alcohol past dinner because it’s known to disrupt the sleep cycle. Also, avoid eating a lot of sugar and refined carbs after dinner, which can trigger wakefulness and reduce your quality of sleep.


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Get back to sleep quickly if you wake up in the middle of the night.

If you wake up in the night and have trouble falling back to sleep, try meditation so stressful thoughts don't take over and leave you sleepless. Lay quietly, eyes closed, and practice deep breathing exercises, keeping your mind focused on the breath entering and leaving your body. Focus on relaxing each muscle in your body in turn.

If you're still not asleep after 15 minutes, get out of bed, and do a quiet activity, such as reading a book or writing in a journal, keeping the lights dim, and your screens off. Try to keep your mind off things that give you stress. Once you're feeling sleepy again, head back to bed, keeping your brain focused on breathing and relaxing.

If you still have insomnia after improving your sleep hygiene, have a conversation with your doctor about it. There are both natural and pharmaceutical treatments for chronic sleep problems to help you get to sleep faster, sleep better, and wake up refreshed and ready to tackle your day.


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Much Needed Prostate Support

For men with an enlarged prostate who get up several times a night to use the bathroom, supplementing with Prostavol's Prostate Support will help you to reduce urinary symptoms that can disrupt your sleep. Prostate Support helps naturally reduce the size of an enlarged prostate, which in turn helps urine flow more freely from the bladder.

Without the constant need to go, and without the pain and discomfort, not getting a good nights sleep becomes a distant memory. Including Prostavol Prostate Support in your daily routine is easy, and you’ll be feeling like your old full rested self in no time at all.


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Sources:
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/w...
https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-caregi...
https://www.sleephealth.org/sleep-health/the-state...

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