Happy & Healthy {Go to Sleep!}

 

Since the official holiday season has passed, I am going to continue this series as Happy & Healthy Everyday!  Because each new season brings it’s own challenges, and the answers don’t change…

Sleep is probably the most basic  – – and neglected! – – secret for the health & happiness we each want to be a reality.  And it is the area where I struggle most [which is it’s own story].  I tend to collect information and articles to help remind me of how important it is to keep working on this.  Here are a few of my top finds:

Have you seen an infographic that pictures just how negatively sleep deprivation affects you?  Every risk of danger increases dramatically, and attempting to function on even “moderate” deprivation results in a mental and physical response as if you are intoxicated.   Even just minor symptoms of depression or anxiety, chronic health issues, cravings, weight gain, brain fog and more could possibly be dramatically improved just by re-evaluating and adjusting sleep time and quality.  I like simple solutions like this!

You may already be getting 7 or more hours of sleep each night, but the real question is whether your body is following the appropriate sleep cycle.  This is one of my issues as I deal with challenges from Adrenal Fatigue.  Some of these easy suggestions may be exactly what you [and I!] need to see significant changes in more than one part of life!

  1. Commit to a consistent sleep schedule of 7 or more hours.  Go to bed and get up at the same times every night – with only about a half hour shift in times.  It takes a bit to adjust, but you will be surprised to realize that you soon don’t feel the need to sleep in or hit that snooze button as often!
  2. Stop eating after 7:00 pm (or close to that time).  Your digestive system thrives on nightly 12 hour fasts, and eating earlier in the evening allows your body to be ready to turn that day’s food into fuel while powered by full resting mode.  Also avoid eating heavy or high sugar (carbs and fruit included) meals for dinner.
  3. Turn the temperature down.  Cooler temps apparently promote instinctive hibernation!  Be sure to have plenty of blanket options, and snuggle in!
  4. Calm your mind.  A few proven strategies include adding white noise (use a fan or an app) to your bedroom, meditation practice before bed (there are so many apps for this! Try this one.), tucking your chin to your chest (yes, really.) – – to name a few…
  5. Eliminate distractions. Any type of light is disturbing to sleep.  Cover even alarm clock lights and hang blackout curtains to block street lights.  De-clutter your bedroom and create a calming space {I like to apply Feng Shui concepts here}.  Turn off electronics at least one – preferably two! – hours before bed.  #yesthestruggleisreal
  6. Create a relaxing evening routine that communicates readiness to rest.  This can be so simple – – but sometime will definitely require saying “NO” to some extra activities and planning ahead throughout the week.  This can look something like dinner, kid’s bed routines, basic clean up and prep for the morning, your own bed routine, and a selfcare activity like reading a book for a short amount of time.
  7. Use natural support. There are so many resources that you can choose from – even if you are already using prescription meds (still ask your Doctor if unsure!).  I recommend herbal teas like Chamomile, quality supplements that include magnesium, CoenzymeQ10, or Ashwagandha,  and using essential oils for relaxing baths, diffusing, and applying topically.  Some of my favorite oils that help support great sleep are Vetiver, Lavender, Cedarwood, Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, and Myrrh.  There are many, many more as well, and I love that using essential oils is just FUN.  Contact me for more information on how to get pure essential oils {that work!} or more ways to use oils for relaxation and improved sleep.  This is a longer list of resources.
  8. It may be time to replace your mattress.  Good sleep requires a good environment.  I like these mattress reviews.  On the same practical note, take a day to deep clean and organize your bedroom.  Get rid of accumulated dust and even mold, and replace toxin-filled plastics, fabrics, imitation woods, candles, etc.  I have been shocked to realize that this step often produces the greatest results.  Essential oils can also help combat toxins in the air and environment.

What about you?  Please share your better-sleep-secrets.  I know I need them all!

xoxo

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