Have you said “bye, bye” to sleeping through the night?!
Are you feeling exhausted or “running on empty” (stress hormones) all day?
Do not fear, I have some great tips (and an amazing recipe) for you!
The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated and growing…
Sleep is this daily thing that we all do and yet we’re just beginning to understand all the different ways it helps us and all the factors that can affect it.
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind!!!
People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and inflammation AND don’t forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory and decision-making skills.
Do you know that lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program? (Gasp!) OMG – What aspect of health does sleep not affect???
Knowing this it’s easy to see the three main purposes of sleep:
1. To restore our body and mind. Our bodies repair, grow and even “detoxify” our brains while we sleep.
2. To improve our brain’s ability to learn and remember things, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.
3. To conserve some energy so we’re not just actively “out and about” 24-hours a day, every day.
Do you know how much sleep adults need? It’s recommended that all adults get 7 – 9 hours a night. For real! How much did you get last night???
Don’t worry, I have you covered with a bunch of actionable tips below!
Tips for better sleep:
✓ The biggest tip is definitely to try to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule. Make it a priority and you’re more likely to achieve it. This means turning off your lights 8 hours before your alarm goes off. Seven. Days. A. Week. I know weekends can easily throw this off but by making sleep a priority for a few weeks your body and mind will adjust and thank you for it.
✓ Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. You know, eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods (full of blood-sugar-balancing fibre). Choose the whole orange instead of the juice (or orange-flavoured snack). Make sure you’re getting some protein and good fats every time you eat.
✓ During the day get some sunshine and exercise. These things tell your body it’s daytime; time for being productive, active and alert. By doing this, it will help you wind down more easily in the evening.
✓ Cut off your caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm. Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine, it’s the “added” sugar we’re minimizing. Yes, this includes your beloved afternoon cappuccino. Both caffeine and added sugars can keep your mind more active than you want it to be, come evening.
✓ Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your “lights out” (that is 8 to 10 hours before your alarm is set to go off, in case you’re doing the math). This would include dimming your artificial lights, avoiding screen time and perhaps reading an actual (not “e”) book or having a bath.
✓ If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid naps throughout the day. Power napping may help you get through the afternoon but if you find that you can’t fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short naps may help. You can even try lying in bed with your legs up a wall. This position is very calming to the nervous system and can help the insomniac within.
So how many of these tips can you start implementing today?
Check-out this week’s recipe for Caffeine-free Latte