Getting a restful night of sleep seems like a distant dream for most of us. The long term effects of lack of sleep are real! Getting a bad nights sleep occasionally will leave you feeling groggy, grumpy and less than the next day. But continued lack of sleep puts both your physical and mental health at risk. Everything from your ability to make good decisions to your immune system are effected by lack of sleep.
Our body NEEDS sleep, just as much as it needs air and food to function at its best. During our rest, the body heals itself and restores its chemical balance. Your brain forges new thought connections and helps memory retention.
Let’s face it, being rested makes you feel and function on a higher level. Not only does a it boost your mood, the enhancements to your healthy lifestyle include:
Enhancing your workout
Sharpening your attention
Maintaining a healthy weight
So, how does one create a favorable sleeping environment? Here are four simple tips to get you headed down the path to dreamland:
Get physical activity to help induce sleep
Physical activity (exercise) increases the amount of deep sleep you get. Not only does deep sleep (slow wave sleep) give your brain and body the time to rejuvenate, it also allows your mind to decompress and stabilizes your mood.
Be sure to allow time for your body to recover and completely cool down from exercise. You may need to experiment with the time of day you are physically active.
Create a relaxing and inviting space for quality sleep
A dark, cool and quite room is ideal for sleeping. Light exposure from your phone, TV, or other light sources makes it harder to fall asleep. Limit screen time before bed.
You may want to try some relaxing activities such as gentle stretching, reading or taking a bath. There are also some great meditation apps that may help to calm your mind and ease you into rest.
Be aware of what you eat and drink before bed
Don’t go to bed overly full or hungry. Limit caffeine, alcohol, sugar and nicotine. Not only can they make it hard to fall asleep, they can disrupt your sleep through the night and leave you feeling tired in the morning.
Stick to a Sleep Schedule
Toddlers are not the only ones that need a bedtime. We all do. At the very least, try to have a schedule for winding down at night.
For example, we typically eat dinner around 6:30. After that we may do a bit of work on our businesses but when it gets near 8 PM, we begin a wind down routine that includes getting into our PJ’s, brushing teeth, nightly skin care routine and reading. We typically try to stop scrolling no later than 8:45 and it’s lights out around 9:30 PM.
As hard as it may seem, sticking to a schedule through the weekend will also be very beneficial for your sleep.
Get sleep support when needed
There are many reasons for having some sleepless nights – kids, financial and job stress, too many responsibilities and illness. You many not be able to control all the factors that disrupt your sleep, but you can certainly help encourage more restful sleep by adopting some good habits.
Most everyone can have a sleepless night. For the nights that my brain seems to be speeding along, I will take a sleep support supplement that has CBD and melatonin. Please be sure to check with your doctor before trying out a sleep support supplement. And if your sleepless nights become more frequent, check with your doctor to see if there is an underlying cause.
Hope you can get some ZZZZ’s with this information. If you enjoyed this blog post, check out these:
Set Priorities for a Balanced Life
What are you doing today to live a good life?
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