getting solid Zzzs are luxuries I would do anything for (anyone else think naps should be implemented into the workday?). With a laundry list of “what-ifs” and to-dos circling my mind, counting sheep doesn’t stand a chance. Then there’s the having-to-pee-every-couple-of-hours scenario that disrupts my beauty sleep.
If that sounds familiar, we’re not alone. According to the Casper-Gallup State of Sleep in America 2022 Report, about 84 million adults struggle to get quality shut-eye. So how do we ensure a sound slumber for a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed morning? I consulted four sleep specialists to get to the bottom of it and they let me in on their tried-and-true sleep hacks. Here’s to the best sleep of our lives. When it comes to catching Zzzs, we may think there’s not much to it other than whether or not we get a good night’s rest.
But what goes on internally when we sleep? “Sleep is a complex process of multiple pathways and neurotransmitters in the brain,” explained Dr. Valerie Cacho, MD, a board-certified internal medicine and sleep medicine physician, co-editor of Integrative Sleep Medicine, and founder of Sleephoria. “Simply put, we fall asleep when our brain waves slow down, our muscles relax, and we lose consciousness.” Sounds easy enough, right? It turns out, there are a lot of other factors at play to hit the sleep jackpot (I’m all in). You’ve probably heard of the term “circadian rhythm” but don’t know exactly what it is.