Do you suffer from fatigue? High blood pressure? Depression and anxiety? Although these symptoms seem unique, they may have a common source...Are you getting enough sleep?
Sleep has become so underrated in a culture that wears being busy like a badge of honor, and most of us go through seasons of life that dramatically interrupt our ability to get a full night’s rest. While it’s common for people to get 5-6 hours of sleep per night, evidence suggests that our bodies require seven to nine hours of sleep to function optimally. Do those numbers seem totally unattainable for you? Do young children, your job, anxiety, poor sleep habits or hormones keep you up late and wake you up early?
You’re not alone...studies show that 35% of adults sleep less than 6 hours a night, which actually qualifies as sleep deprivation! In order for you to thrive, you must prioritize a healthy sleep routine. Some shifts make big impacts and if you’re wanting to upgrade your health, this is a great place to start.
Here are a few of my favorite tips that keep me sleeping like a pro:
-Make sleep a priority! Period. That may mean making sacrifices, saying no to social events, and setting boundaries on work. Make a list of what would need to change in your life to obtain 8 hours of sleep per night and go after it!
-Reduce your exposure to artificial light in the evenings. Keep lights dim in the home when the sun goes down, and try to limit screen time 3 hours before bed. If you have to use your screen, these Blue Light Glasses are a MUST have!
-Move your body! Create a daily, body-honoring time of movement every day.
-Ditch the Caffeine. Go 30 days without products containing caffeine and see how your body responds. If you’re like “NO WAY, not happening.” then at minimum stop all caffeine intake by 1 p.m.
-Manage stress. Meditation and grounding techniques are some of my favorite daily practices that keep anxiety at bay and have me sleeping like a baby. I love the CALM and Headspace apps for accessible meditations anytime. They also have “sleep stories” and meditations specific for prepping your body for sleep.
-Create an optimal sleeping environment. Sleeping in a cool room results in less night time awakenings. Also make sure you sleep in total darkness, and ideally turn your phone on airplane mode and/or keep it away from where you sleep.
-Watch the sunset! This helps to soothe the nervous system in preparation for sleep and stimulates the pineal gland responsible for producing melatonin.
Your body deserves to be nurtured by healthy sleep. Gradually implement these practices and watch your sleep cycle transform!