Do you know that good sleep is probably one of the single most important things to your overall health. The average adult needs 7-8 hours restful sleep, teen 8-10, and school age children anywhere from 10-14 hours of sleep. The younger the person, the more restful sleep they need.
Good sleep leads to many great things:
- Sharper Brain
- Heart Health
- Better mood balance
- Improved Athletic Performance
- Management of blood pressure
- Decreased risk for diabetes
- Balanced Metabolism
- Better Immune Response
- Improved Weight Management
- Reduced Stress
- Regeneration of proteins for muscle healing
Wow...that is a lot of amazing benefits from getting good sleep! That being said, good sleep is often very hard to come by for many individuals (including myself). Sleep is where we rebuild and reboost. Our bodies need this time to recover from the environmental toxins we are exposed to daily, recover from stress, fatigue, and challenges of balancing busy but exciting lifestyles.
Here are some great ways to insure a better night's sleep:
- Consistent bedtime and rise time: Going to bed and rising from bed consistently around the same time is very beneficial to keep your metabolic clock in good working fashion. Keeping you bed time and rise time within a 60 min window is a great start.
- Avoiding alcohol for at least 90 minutes before bedtime. Alcohol has been shown to interrupt sleep time and time again.
- Avoid devices in bed. The blue light emitted by your cell phone screen restrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle (aka circadian rhythm). This makes it even more difficult to fall asleep and wake up the next day. Studies also show that exposure to blue light can cause damage to your retinas.
- Try some breathing exercises to calm your body while laying in bed. Taking 10-20 breaths slow and long in through your nose and out through your mouth will help you reach a parasympathetic (calm) state of rest within the autonomic system.
- Avoid caffeine after 5pm.
- Try a meditation app or meditation practice, soothing music, or reading (not on your phone but an actual book) to help shut off your brain and allow you to relax.