Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Learn about the importance of sleep and how you can create healthy sleep habits (even if you're among the most sleep-challenged)
Your body needs 7-8 hours of sleep to absorb nutrition, balance hormones, clean your brain and blood and regenerate healthy cells, among other things. Get better quality sleep by:
Setting and honoring a consistent sleep schedule with the same bedtime every night and wake time every morning. Your body will start to trust your natural sleep rhythm and cause you to feel appropriately tired at night and more alert in the morning.
Close down and put away all electronic devices at least 1 hour before bed. Put them on the other side of the room to avoid the habit of checking email and social media before you drift off or if wake up at night. It also prevents you from hitting the snooze button in the morning which can disrupt your sleep schedule.
Avoid eating anything 2 hours prior to bedtime and consider having your larger meal at lunchtime to give your body less to digest at night when it's getting ready for a deep cleaning and repair.
Instead of using alcohol and/or chocolate every night to relax you, consider swapping them for naturally decaffeinated tea a few nights per week as both alcohol and caffeine disrupt your sleep by disrupting your hormone balance.
Consider keeping your bedroom cooler at night. Although extra blankets feel cozy, they're more likely to cause overheating which causes wakefulness.
Studies show that sleeping in a darker room without any light sends a signal to the brain to relax your muscles, release melatonin and drop your body temperature for quality sleep. Light disrupts the rise in melatonin, the sleep hormone, which can cause insomnia or interrupted sleep.
If you have had trouble sleeping, implement as many of these strategies as you can over the next few weeks and be patient as it takes time for your body to adjust. It's a habit worth building ~ quality sleep improves your resiliency and ability to respond thoughtfully to issues that come up throughout your day, gives you more energy to do the things you want to do and causes fewer cravings. It's a great time to make sleep a priority!
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