Oh, That Elusive Sleep.
It is a time to relax and regenerate. To heal and repair.
If you need that coffee or two (or three) every morning, you may get some very useful tips in this post.
Sleep isn’t just important for your mind and body to have energy and be alert. Lack of sleep can contribute to serious health issues which you don’t want.
So let me have your attention for this “tip-filled” holiday- helper-post on the importance of sleep and how you can get your fair share.
Bye Bye Sleeping Through The Night
Have you said “bye bye” to sleeping through the night?
Are you feeling exhausted or “running on stress hormones” all day?
Do not fear, I have some great tips (and an amazing recipe in the next blog post) for you!
Let’s continue …
The Science Of Sleep Is Fascinating, Complicated & Growing
Sleep is this daily thing that we all do and yet we’re just beginning to understand all of the ways it helps us and all of the factors that can affect it.
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind. People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like
- heart disease,
- and perhaps certain types of cancer
Not to mention less sleep can also have effects like
- slower metabolism,
- weight gain,
- hormone imbalance,
- and inflammation
And don’t forget the impact lack of sleep can have on
- and decision-making skills.
Do you know that lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program? (Gasp!)
OMG – What aspect of health does sleep not affect???
The Answer To The Quiz …
Knowing this it’s easy to see the three main purposes of sleep (& the answer to your holiday quiz!):
- To restore our body and mind. Our bodies repair, grow and even “detoxify” our brains while we sleep.
- To improve our brain’s ability to learn and remember things, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.
- To conserve some energy so we’re not just actively “out and about” 24-hours a day, every day.
Do you know how much sleep adults need?
It’s less than your growing kids need but you may be surprised that it’s recommended that all adults get 7 – 9 hours a night. For real!
Try not to skimp! (Don’t worry, I have you covered with a bunch of actionable tips below.)
The Holidays Are Near, So Here Are Some Tips For Better Sleep
- The biggest tip is definitely to try to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule. Make it a priority and you’re more likely to achieve it. This means turning off your lights 8 hours before your alarm goes off. Days. A. Week. I know weekends can easily throw this off, but by making sleep a priority for a few weeks your body and mind will adjust and thank you for it.
- Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. You know, eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods (full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber). Choose the whole orange instead of the juice (or orange-flavoured snack). Make sure you’re getting some protein every time you eat.
p.s. Check out this blood sugar balancing recipe for some help.
- During the day get some sunshine and exercise. These things tell your body it’s daytime; time for being productive, active and alert. Even if it is a short 10 minute duration. By doing this during the day it will help you wind down more easily in the evening.
- Cut off your caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm. Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine, it’s the “added” sugar we’re minimizing. Yes, this includes your beloved chai latte. Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind a bit more active than you want it to be come evening.
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your “lights out” time (that is 8 – 10 hours before your alarm is set to go off). This would include dimming your artificial lights, nixing screen time and perhaps reading an (actual, not “e”) book or having a bath.
So how many of these tips can you start implementing today? Let me know.
Also, in the next blog post I have a great caffeine-free chai latte recipe for you.