Wasn’t it great to be in your teens and early 20’s?! Party all night sleep 2-3 hours and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. AHHHH yeah those were the days. Flash forward 10 years and getting only 3 hours of sleep can spell out a day of misery.
Is getting adequate sleep really that important? YES!
Sleep plays a vital role in health and emotional well-being, but what are the effects of continual sleep deprivation? Increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and can increase your chances of becoming obese. Not to mention inhibiting your brain from functioning properly, your ability to learn (or maybe you’re just that bad at math), making decisions (calling in sick to work to binge watch all seasons of The Office…for the second time), and resetting your hormones (like leptin that is responsible for you feeling full and satisfied after eating), to promote healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels.
So what can you do to achieve that much desired and often elusive sleep?
- Routine is key – form a plan and stick to it. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including the weekends. Choose a bed time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn.
- Leave the cat naps to the felines – While napping is a good way to recharge or make up for lost sleep it could make things worse if you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night. Limit your naps to 15mins in the early afternoon or avoid them altogether
- Don’t follow the light – Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime. That means limiting phone, tablet, or any other backlit devices. Turning off the TV and instead listening to music or audiobooks. Also, ensuring your sleeping area is cool and dark. Consider heavy curtains and covering electronics that emit light.
- Exercise – even light exercise like walking 10 minutes a day can improve sleep quality
- Limit stress – Try relaxation techniques to help you wind down. Deep breathing, stretching, a warm bath, reading a book, or simply being prepared for the next day can help alleviate stress
- Nutrition – Avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugary or processed foods, and eating big meals late at night.
Come in for a FREE "No Sweat Intro" to see how we can help you.
Bios Nutrition Coach