Are you getting enough sleep? Sleep is a powerful way to help your immune system stay healthy. When you get enough sleep your body is able to recharge. Sleeping well is basically a super power.
During sleep is when your brain takes out the trash from the day, your hormones rebalance, and stress levels lower. In fact a lack of sleep is perceived to be a state of stress for your body. Going more than 6 days with 6 or fewer hours of sleep actually results in insulin resistance.
On the nights where you don't get enough sleep you may find that you're moodier or that you crave sugary junk foods. A lack of sleep is associated with decreased leptin and increased ghrelin. Leptin decreases appetite and ghrelin increases appetite. These changes have also been observed in reaction to food restriction and weight loss and are typically associated with increased appetite. These hormone alterations may contribute to the BMI increase that occurs with a lack of sleep. It's vitally important to get enough sleep in order to keep your hormones levels balanced.
Aim to get between 7-10 hours of uninterrupted quality sleep. The amount of sleep you need to feel rested varies from person to person. To figure out works best for you go to bed at your usual time without setting an alarm clock. See how long and what time you wake up naturally. This will give you a better idea of how much sleep you need to function at your best.
Here are some of the ways you can optimize sleep
1) Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Keep all electronic devices out of your bedroom. This also means your bedroom can't function as a home office, a tv room or exercise room. Install blackout curtains if possible. Your bedroom needs to be a room that is free of all distractions. In fact as soon as you set foot in your bedroom, you want to feel a sense of calm come over you.
2) Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Babies and kids excel with a regular routine. Guess what? So do adults! It'll be much easier to regulate your sleep cycles if you're going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday.
3) Step away from all electronics 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. This will help prepare your body for sleep. The time before bed is the perfect time to read, meditate, journal, have a bath or spend time with your partner. Make time to wind down from your day. This will ensure a proper night's rest.
4) Some people find it helpful to have magnesium before bed as it helps relax your body. This is a great nightly routine as well. Personally I take a sleep support called Apothecherry which helps boost melatonin in my body. I've been taking this for a year and a half. Since I started taking Apothecherry I've been having the deepest sleeps and the craziest dreams! Contact me if you want to learn more.
5) Move your body in some way every single day. Exercise helps reduce stress and balance mood. Along with sleep, exercise is crucial for long term health. You can go for a walk, do some yoga or anything else that you're inspired to do. The main thing to remember is to get moving everyday!
Make sleep a priority in your life. We all have distractions like our phone, Netflix and so many other things pulling at us. You will be able to function alot better in your daily life if you get enough sleep. As we get closer to the holiday season I hope that you're able to make time for your own health and well being.
I'm going to be launching a group transformation in Janaury. If you're ready to up level your personal health contact me. The focus on the program will be nutrition, gut health, mental health, movement, journaling, tapping and other wellness practices to create a wellness blueprint that's unique to you.
Until next time, be well!
Photo by Jordan Whitt