Are you feeling exhausted, mentally tired, or are “running on stress hormones” all day? Then keep reading, I have some great tips for you!
The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated and growing
We can all agree that some sleep is important, but sleep science is becoming a lot more sophisticated, helping us understand the importance of sleep and all of the factors that can affect its quality.
We now know that lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind. People who get less sleep tend to:
Be at higher risk for health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer, often triggered by increased inflammation in the body.
Experience a slowing metabolism, weight gain, and hormone imbalance.
Display emotional imbalances such as lack of impulse control, fluctuating moods, reduced memory, and diminished decision-making skills.
Did you know that lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program? WOW!
With that said, there are 4 main reasons to make sleep a priority in your life:
It restores your body and mind. Your body repairs itself, grows, and even detoxifies while you sleep. It reduces inflammation, hence reducing the risk of disease.
It improves your brain's ability to learn and remember things, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”. Science shows that those who sleep longer have better grades in school and improved mental capacity.
It down-regulates your hunger hormones, reducing cravings, and regulate appetite.
It reduces the stress hormones in your body, decreasing signs of anxiety and depression.
Do you know how much sleep adults need? It's less than your growing child, but you may be surprised that it's recommended that all adults get 7 - 9 hours a night. In fact, when working with clients, improving their sleep is one of the first areas we often tackle.
Here are 5 tips that will help you get a good-night sleep
One of the best things you can do is to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule. This means turning off your lights 8+ hours before your alarm goes off. Seven. 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 falling and staying asleep will be much easier.
Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. That means eating less refined and processed foods and more whole foods. Choose the whole orange instead of the juice (or orange-flavored snack). Make sure to get some protein every time you eat.
During the day find time to be in the sun and exercise. These things tell your body it's daytime; time for being productive, active and alert. Being cooped up in a dark office all day can confuse your body’s circadian rhythm.
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. Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind more active than you want it to be at night.
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). If you are a parent you know how important the bedtime routine is for your baby…it’s the same concept. This may include dimming your artificial lights, nixing screen time and perhaps reading an (actual, not “e”) book or having a bath.
When my team of amazing health coaches works with clients, sleep is often a topic that is addressed right at the start. Turning the above tips into actionable steps is important to create sustainable change, and that’s exactly what we’ll do together.
Is getting enough sleep a problem in your life? Don’t wait another day, give me a call and we’ll help you find the right sleep protocol for you (1-866-JOYVIAL).