Are YOU getting enough sleep?
The quantity and quality of sleep you get every night doesn’t just determine if you feel alert or tired the next day; it also determines whether your immune system is low (and you get sick), if you can think clearly and remember things, how emotional (or over-emotional) you are, how accident-prone you are, and even how hungry you are the next day! (To read further how lack of sleep affects you and more tips, read our Honor Your Body issue!)
Sleeping is one of the most important (and easiest) self-care activities you can do for your mind and body. Sleeping might seem like a lot of time doing “nothing”, but you’re actually doing SO much–like resting and detoxifying your mind and body. Here are tips and zzz-ecrets to assure that you get enough quality, restful sleep…
Zzz-ecrets for every night!
Here are some ways to make sure you fall asleep as soon as you hit the pillow!
Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day. Yes, even on the weekends! Giving your body a sleeping rhythm will allow for a much deeper, successful sleep.
- Dim the lights and turn off loud noises at least 30 minutes before bed to relax your mind and body and give it the message it’s time for sleep. Too much light or noise stimulates your body and makes it harder to fall asleep.
- Stop using electronics at least one hour before bedtime. Also, keep them away from your bed while you sleep. Electronics (like cellphones and televisions) give off blue light, which stops the release of melatonin (the natural chemical you need to sleep) in your brain.
- Get sunshine during the day. Darkness during the day and lightness at night can hurt our body’s biological clock. We need lots of sunlight during the day and darkness at night for optimum sleep.
- Try some relaxing essential oils. Lavender is the best! Put 4-6 drops on a cotton ball and place in your pillow case or try a few drops in your humidifier or diffuser.
- Listen to relaxing sounds. Soothing sounds like the ocean or white noise will assist your brain function to relax and slow down to prepare you for bed. There are lots of CDs or online vids that provide soothing sounds.
- Skip late night snacks before bed (especially sugars). Food or sugary drinks (like juice or soda) gives your body necessary energy. Try a hot cup of chamomile tea with lemon or honey to relax you.
- Avoid stimulating your brain before bed. That means not watching TV, checking Instagram, doing homework, or reading a suspenseful book. Rather, read something inspiring (like BYOU Magazine!), listen to soothing music or guided meditations, or write in your journal…some ideas to get you started: What are you grateful for? What are your favorite things about yourself? Do something that puts positive thoughts in your brain before falling asleep.
- Pick proper bedding and pajamas. Your body temperature drops when you sleep. So, the perfect sleeping temperature is around 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit. If you get cold at night, try flannel sheets or PJs. If you get hot at night, try lightweight cotton sheets and wear loose fitting PJs.
- Take a shower or if you have the time, take a warm bath (who doesn’t love a bath? Try one with some lavender essential oil!) Since body temperature naturally falls at bedtime, the temperature drop from getting out of the bath signals your body it’s time for bed.
- Sleep in darkness. A small night light is OK, but use a low-watt yellow, red, or orange bulb that won’t disturb your sleep. Too much light signals your brain it’s time to wake up (eye masks work great to block out light!)
- Meditate. Take a few deep breaths, breathing out all of the stresses from the day and breathing in positive thoughts. You can sit in a cozy chair or even lay on your bed so you’re ready to sleep; meditation is a great relaxer!
- Avoid using loud alarm clocks. Loud noises to wake you up is very stressful on your body. Using a lower volume or a more soothing sound will gently wake your body up without that hurtful jerk or panicky-feeling!
- Get moving in the morning! Starting your day with a couple jumping jacks, 10 minutes of yoga, or a nice walk (yes, even to the bus stop counts!) is a great way to wake yourself up and allow for a better night’s sleep at the end of the day.
(Many tips provided by mercola.com. and draxe.com. Visit these site for more healthy tips!)
Sleeping positions for success!