Good health and wellness are like a well-oiled machine. All parts work together and when one is out of balance it throws off the whole thing. If you don’t manage stress, your hormones don’t function properly, you crave crappy food, you don’t sleep well and your energy levels and motivation will be low all could lead to poor digestive health a sedentary lifestyle weight gain, and depression. OUCH.
Over the next several posts I will touch on the following topics: Sleep, Stress, Nutrition, Lifestyle Choices, Body Movement.
Today we talk SLEEP.
Current day lifestyles are over-caffeinated, over-stimulated, stay up late, get up early and burn the candle at both ends. While everyone has careers, financial obligations, family obligations we need to take the time to focus on sleep so our bodies can rest and digest and repair themselves from the day and prepare for tomorrow. A good day actually begins with a good night’s sleep.
When we get a good night’s sleep we wake up refreshed, energized, and motivated to make good choices. We might work out, we might have a healthy breakfast, be more organized, and feel good.
Poor night’s sleep can do the exact opposite, wake up tired, unmotivated, crave bad foods which lead to bad choices, and overall feeling terrible. In turn, we have more caffeine and stress out because we are tired!
Things I hear often from clients:
- I stay up late to catch up on my shows so that I can have some ME time.
- I stay up late to catch up on work that didn’t get done during the day.
- I stay up late because I can’t turn my brain off.
- I stay up late because I’m not tired.
- I stay up late because I do my best work at night.
- I fall asleep fine but wake up during the night.
Understanding that good sleep is an integral part of good health. How can we get better sleep?
- Make sleep a priority. Realize that as the sun sets our bodies are programmed to begin to unwind as melatonin increases and prepares us for sleep.
- Try to create a sleep routine. Maybe you take a bath, read a book, meditate or do some light stretching or yoga to let your body know it’s time for bed.
- Try foam rolling or using an acupressure mat.
- Try to limit screens 2 hours before bed to cut down on blue light exposure.
- Avoid eating big meals late at night.
- Limit alcohol.
- Limit caffeine.
- Stick to a schedule. Our bodies like schedules. Try to go to bed and wake up about the same times each night and morning.
- If you have something to get done, consider getting up earlier rather than staying up later.
- And as always, consult your doctor if you feel that any sleep issues you are having is part of a bigger health-related issue or concern. Always get evaluated and diagnosed by a professional before taking any supplements or sleep aids.