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Optimal shut-eye

Sleeping should be the easiest thing we do in a day, yet so many people are suffering from inadequate amounts of sleep. Read on to get some helpful suggestions on how to increase your sleep action!

In today's fast-paced world we tend to overextend and overschedule ourselves and the first thing that gets tossed aside is sleep. We often look at sleep as more of a nuisance and not an amazing way to recharge our bodies. If we started looking at sleep as a cherished practice as well as having some nightly rituals sleep may come a little easier.

When we are sleeping our internal organs rest and recover, tissue repairs and muscle growth takes place. Important hormones get released that regulate appetite control, stress, growth, and metabolism. Also, memory consolidation occurs which helps the formation and storage process of new memories. The bottom line is if we have a better sleep relationship our quality of life is better. We have stronger immune systems, heightened alertness, less anxiety which improves mood, and increased energy. But enough about why sleep is so beneficial because what if you are having a tough time falling asleep or staying asleep? Here is a list of tips and tricks you can try to incorporate today.

Increase your time outside for natural sunlight. The sunlight provides extra energy during the day and is also proven to help falling asleep at night. Studies have shown that getting just two hours of sunlight a day can help people fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer. If getting outside is not an option, consider buying an artificial bright light device.

Decrease blue light exposure. The point in reducing light exposure at night is to make your body understand that sleep is around the corner. Certain hormones get released naturally that help prep our bodies for sleep. If we are on devices such as phones, TV's, and computers our body think it's still time to be up and doing things. Find new rituals at night starting about an hour before bed that do not include blue light. However, if you must be on electronics there are apps you can put on your phone that block blue light or you can purchase blue light blocking glasses.

For the love, STOP consuming caffeine later in the day. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, try to stop caffeine intake by 2:00 pm. There are benefits to the stimulant but it can have lasting effects in your body for up to 6-8 hours. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system which doesn't help when trying to relax at night.

Stick to the same bedtime and wake time. Just like other aspects of life, our bodies thrive on schedules. There have been numerous studies on this idea. People who had NOT set schedules got poor quality of sleep. Try a set night and wake time for a few weeks and see if sleep improves.

Try not to eat after dinner. Our bodies need that time to rest and repair. If our bodies are working hard to digest food, certain sleep hormones are being released later in the night and then prolonging sleep. The same is true if large amounts of alcohol are consumed. Try to not make your body work when it's time for bed.

Make your bedroom a sleep haven. If possible, get a comfortable mattress. You spend a lot of time there so make it a happy place. There are additional pillowtop extras you can get right at Walmart or Amazon. Get comforable sheets that keep your body temperature where you sleep the best. Plug your phone in across the room so you are not tempted to use it. Diffuse some essential oils and fall in love with this part of your night.

Eating well and getting exercise are the common things people think of for optimal health. However, good quality sleep is JUST as important! Sleep is not something that we get to forgo because it doesn't fit in our busy schedule, it is imperative to live a healthy life. I hope you were able to find something you can apply to your daily routines. Now go and hit the sack with ease.

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