Struggling With Sleep? 6 Tips to Set Yourself up for Sleepy Success
Having trouble sleeping through the night?
Are you feeling exhausted all day?
Do not fear, I have some great tips (and an amazing recipe) for you!
I've been having some struggles with sleep lately, largely due to hormone changes, this topic has become one of great interest.
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind. People who get less sleep may 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, hormone imbalance, and inflammation. And don't forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory and decision-making skills.
Knowing this it's easy to see the three main purposes of sleep:
● To restore our body and mind. Our cells work to rebuild and replace themselves so we can function optimally, sleep is essential for this process to occur.
● To improve our brain's ability to learn and remember things, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.
● 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.
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
● During the day get some sunshine and movement. These things tell your body its daytime; time for being productive, active and alert. By doing this during the day it will help you wind down more easily in the evening.
● Hydrate your body. If you aren't drinking enough water and/or existing primarily on caffeine to keep you moving, your cells have a hard time replenishing themselves so you can have the energy to function. If you do drink caffeinated beverages, add a glass of water to your ritual. Same goes for alcohol, a glass of wine or a beer might make you sleepy and it dehydrates you. Get some water into you as a countermeasure. If plain water seems gross, fancy it up with carbonation and some fruit.
● Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your “lights out” time (that is 8 - 10 hours before your alarm is set to go off). This would include dimming your artificial lights, nixing screen time and perhaps reading an (actual, not “e”) book or having a bath. I also have an essential oil diffuser running by the bed. The smells help me relax and the sound is very soothing.
● Use an app that decreases the blue light from your devices, this allows your body to follow it's natural circadian rhythm. Flux works great on laptops and desktops, Twilight for Android Devices, and Night Shift for iOS. These filtering apps are also great if you suffer from headaches brought on by bright lights, you can adjust the screen to a warmer temperature color.
● Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Jot down what's on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow. Stress management might help. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Meditation also can ease anxiety.
So how many of these tips can you start implementing today?
Try to stick to a good sleep routine. Improved sleep will not happen as soon as changes are made, hopefully, you see some improvement. Remember, different things work for different people. Find what works for you and stick with it. If you try everything and your sleep still doesn't get any better, check in with your health care provider.
Recipe (Caffeine-free latte for your afternoon “coffee break”): Caffeine-Free Chai Latte
1 bag of rooibos chai tea (rooibos is naturally caffeine-free)
2 cups of boiling water
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon almond butter (creamy is preferred)
2 dates (optional)
Cover the teabag and dates (if using) with 2 cups of boiling water and steep for a few minutes.
Discard the tea bag & place tea, soaked dates, tahini & almond butter into a blender.
Blend until creamy.
Serve and Enjoy!
Tip: You can try this with other nut or seed butter to see which flavor combination you like the best. Cashew butter anyone?
Questions about how to help yourself sleep better? Schedule some time with Nancy.