Are You Struggling to Get a Good Night Sleep

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2023

Do you know that a good night of restful sleep is probably one of the single most important this to insure good overall health.  The average adult needs 7-8 hours of restful sleep, teens 8-10, and school age children anywhere from 10-14 hours of sleep. 

Good Sleep Leads to Many Great Things:

  • Sharper Brain
  • Heathier Heart
  • Better Mood Balance
  • Improved Athletic Performance
  • Improved Management of Blood Pressure
  • Decreased Risk for Diabetes
  • Improvement of Balance Metabolism
  • Better Immune Response
  • Improved Weight Management
  • Reduced Stress
  • Regeneration of Proteins and Muscles for 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). I do not know about you, but January is always one of the worst months for sleep.  December is a month of giving.  We give in December because we want to. We want time with family and friends to celebrate and come together.  This can often lead to boundaries getting broken with more "yeses" than "no's", giving more of ourselves and our time, more eating, more drinking, and less sleep. 

Then we dive into January with this feeling of "this a new year, now what am I going to make of it and how am I going to better myself".  Well truthfully, I do not want to speak for everyone but in reality I am exhausted yet this new feeling of "needing to achieve" often keeps me from resting or sleeping well. 

Sleep is where we rebuild and reboot. 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. 

I wanted to share with you so great ways to insure a better night's sleep as well as a short video for a easy exercise to do before bed that can help calm the body in preparation for a better night 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 your bed time and rise time within 60 min window is a great start.
  • Avoid alcohol for at least 90 mins before bedtime.  Alcohol has been shown to interrupt sleep time and time again. 
  • Avoid devices in bed.  Bedroom is for sex and sleep only.  The blue light emitted from your cell phone 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 expose to blue light can cause damage to your retinas. 
  • Try some breathing exercises like the one I am going to show you below.  Breathing exercises calm your body and help regulate the "rest and digest" or parasympathetic system in preparation for sleep. Taking 10-20 breaths slow and long in through your nose and out through your mouth will help you reach a calmer state of rest within the automimics system that regulate "fight or flight" and "rest and digest"
  • 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

Please see the video below of an easy and calming breath activity.  I have also included a link to the bolster to help.

Left sidelying breathing for bedtime:

https://youtu.be/NlxO_tzYh_w

Link to the bolster: 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TWYM933/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

Happy New Year. Hope to see you soon

Paige, PT, PRC, PCES, CSCS, CKTP

 

 

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