High Priority: Sleep

If you’re not sleeping well, your body isn’t repairing itself. How to encourage  the best night’s sleep, again and again.

I’m not going to reiterate how important sleep is for you. Numerous studies confirm that for both physical and mental health, we need a good night’s rest every night. Memory, logic, and biochemistry are directly affected during sleep. Not enough sleep and you’ll experience forgetfulness, foggy thoughts, fatigue (duh!), susceptibility to illness, and a short temper (lack of emotional resilience). Prioritize your sleep…aim for 7 to 8 hours every evening… using some, or all, of these tips and tricks:

  • Go to bed at the same time every night, regardless of which night it is (week night or weekend). Aim for between 10 and 11pm. Why? Studies show we get a “second wind” after about 11pm (cortisol kicking in). Make it a point to wake at the same time too.
  • Have a pre-sleep routine about an hour before bed. This should be restful and relaxing. If you have a busy mind, try reading textbooks, writing in a journal, and meditation. If you’re uncomfortable sleeping, try stretching, massage, sauna, or a warm bath.
  • If you’re getting up in the middle of the night to urinate, limit fluids after 7pm, and caffeine after 2pm.
  • Notice how different types of stimulus affect your sleep. Some people can watch horror movies right before bed and sleep soundly, while others can’t.
  • Magnesium before bed often helps… take 30-60 minutes before sleep. Same with some honey (raw, organic). *always check with your physician before starting a new supplement
  • Keep the bedroom as cool as possible. Limit light, but don’t worry if you can’t make the room pitch black. Limiting light sources like charging devices, illuminated clocks, etc will make a huge positive impact. Some sources, like humidifiers or air filters, have lights on them. Use a bandage or some tape and paper to cover the light.
  • Listen to sounds that have been created to induce relaxation, like “Weightless“. Have an Alexa nearby? Have it play the sounds as you doze off.
  • Limit drugs or alcohol before bed. Sleep medication should be closely monitored by your physician.
  • If you wake up in the middle of the night just roll over and try to go back to sleep. If that doesn’t work, get up and do something. You don’t want to condition your brain to associate the bedroom with being awake. However, do something relaxing… read on the couch, take a warm bath. If it’s near your normal wake time, start the day as you normally would and enjoy the extra time!
  • If you continue to experience insomnia or poor sleep, keep a journal of what you’re doing during the day. Include what you’ve eaten, what feelings and emotions you’ve experienced, what activities you participated in, and what’s on your mind. Look for patterns (like chronic stress, health/physical needs, poor habits). Working with a coach for chronic issues will help you find a solution faster. Support and tools are only a session away!

 

Need more information on sleep?

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-sleep-clears-brain

http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/health

https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/sleep-health

 

Some of my favorite “tools” for sleep:

  • Weighted blanket
  • Acupressure mat
  • Sound machines
  • Humidifier and/or air purifier
  • Sleep mask and/or ear plugs

 

* Note that “stress” has a huge impact in sleep. Working with someone to identify your stress, and work on solutions, will provide long-term relief.

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