Sleep is one of the pillars of health. It allows your body and mind to recharge. Inadequate amounts of sleep can be detrimental to one’s health. While the amount of sleep each person needs differs, most adults require an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. 

Not getting enough can result in weight gain, decreased mental clarity, and can be dangerous. People can get in accidents because they’re too tired, causing them to fall asleep behind the wheel of a car. Poor sleep puts people at greater risk of diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and stroke. Lack of sleep affects people emotionally and can lead to depression. Inadequate sleep is associated with increased inflammation, which is a factor in many diseases and health problems. Sleep also plays a role in the body’s immunity. 

There is no question regarding the importance of sleep. For many people, the problem lies with getting enough sleep. 

One key to getting enough sleep is establishing a sleep schedule. Get ready for bed the same time every night, so you are in bed at the same time. It may be difficult to fall asleep at first. Over time, it should be easier to fall asleep shortly after going to bed. Wake up around the same time each day. If you aren’t sleeping in too late, then you will be able to fall asleep earlier. Our bodies work better on a schedule, naturally following a circadian rhythm that responds to light and dark. Thus, our bodies want to sleep when it’s dark outside. 

Another factor that contributes to sleep is a quiet and dark environment. Turn off your electronic devices, including phones, tablets, and TVs. Try a sleep mask. Sleep masks are beneficial for blocking light, decreasing distractions, minimizing eye dryness, good for the skin, safer than medications, can improve sleep quality, and may improve insomnia. With so many choices in sleep masks, it’s something simple one can use to help create the dark sleep environment that’s free of distractions. Ear plugs or a sound machine are great way to block out certain noises. Sometimes a sound machine helps to calm the mind. 

Slow, deep breathing is a great way to calm the mind while going to sleep. Keep it simple. While lying in bed, take a deep breath in, hold for a moment, let a deep breath out, hold for a moment, and repeat. Controlled breathing helps to calm the nervous system and relax the mind. 

Still having trouble sleeping, acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas are an effective and safe way to help with sleep. Many people come out of acupuncture treatments very relaxed. Some people even nap during their acupuncture treatments. After the first treatment, people will often comment that they had the best sleep in a long time. There are different Chinese herbal formulas that are beneficial to helping with sleep as well. The herbal formulas can be complementary to acupuncture treatments. Both acupuncture and herbal formulas are natural means to help with sleep, as well as have numerous health benefits and can address other health problems. 

With the proper healthy sleep habits and even some natural interventions such as acupuncture, it is possible to get a good night’s sleep.