It is hard to decide which of the six pillars of health are most impactful. All are an integral part of our optimal wellbeing. This week we will be discussing the pillar of Sleep. Many of our bodies are starving for the sleep that allows our bodies to renew, rejuvenate and heal. Endless processes are being completed when we sleep without us even having to think about them. What we need to do is provide the very best conditions to allow our bodies to get the best sleep.
I struggled with writing this article because this week my sleep has been challenging. Thank-you universe! I love the synchronicity. I am on vacation and enjoying it very much. I am loving my morning coffee looking at the ocean, shopping and all around exploring with my friend. But my sleep has been a little fitful. I know this is because I have abandoned some of my routines and sleep practices. This awareness has allowed me not to be concerned about it but recognize this is just a normal occurrence in my sleep health. I will get back to my routine when I return and give my body the time it needs to rejuvenate. So, here are some quick tips to help you with your sleep routine.
- Try to get to bed the same time every night. I know there will be exceptions but this practice will allow your body to connect with a rhythm that will intuitively start to wind down when you are approaching bedtime.
- No stimulants at least two hours prior to bedtime. This means alcohol, coffee and caffeinated teas and energy drinks to name a few. Try adding a nice herbal tea such as chamomile as your nightly routine.
- Cool it! Keep the room cool when you sleep. Research suggests between 60 and 65 degrees. This will vary among individuals and even seasons. I keep mine at 68 in the winter and 71 in the summer.
- Hang it up! Reduce the use of electronics two hours prior to bedtime. Stay off your computer and phone. The blue light emitted from your cell phone and computer restricts the production of melatonin which controls your sleeping and waking cycle. It makes it hard to fall asleep and hard to wake.
- Nightly TV fast! Do not have the TV on through the night. Even though it can be consoling to have the TV on during sleep this is also increasing your exposure to blue light and stimuli that are again restricting your melatonin. This practice also plays havoc with your natural circadian rhythm and prevents you from reaching and maintaining that deep level of sleep that our bodies need to allow us to rejuvenate and heal.
- Get Naked! Sleeping naked helps keep your body’s skin temperature down. So maybe you do not feel comfortable sleeping in your birthday suit. Sleeping with as little as you are comfortable with, is a step in the right direction.
These are a few tips to get you started. Some may be easy to implement and others may be a little more challenging. Do you know how you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! I always recommend that you take baby steps toward your goal. We will talk more about baby steps later.
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