Tips for sleep success
January 23, 2017
Sleep at night is so important for our overall health. While we sleep at night the following things are happening to improve our health:
- our blood pressure drops, breathing becomes slower, and our muscles relax
- our blood supply moves to our to muscles and tissues improving circulation
- our tissues grow and repairs to injuries happen
- our energy is restored
- hormones are released, such as: Growth hormone, essential for growth and development, including muscle development, blood sugar is balanced, our liver works on metabolism and detoxification processes, our digestive system works and then has a rest
our brain processes the emotions we experienced during the day
When our sleep is interrupted, these processed are also interrupted or worse, they don't take place. We can start to experience health concerns, and emotional imbalances - such as anxiety, and we can be unable to handle life's daily stressors.
Here are 4 scientifically proven ways to improve your sleep:
1. Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary
Create a space that is dark, quiet, and a little bit cool. Set your room temperature to 18-19 degrees Celsius. If you need to eliminate city noise and lights, try black-out curtains and a white noise machine or app. Avoid activities such as eating, emailing, or watching television in bed. The objective is to create a space where you can let go of the demands of life and move towards calm and quiet.
2. Get out there and move!
Regular exercise has a strong positive effect on sleep, especially if done earlier in the day. If you can combine exercise with exposure to sunlight, you get more "bang for your buck". So don’t just sit there, get outside! Walk, bike, ski, or skate. Try to aim for 30 minutes per day.
3. Ease off the caffeine
Our bodies take a surprisingly long time to process caffeine. Avoiding caffeine after 11 am can help with falling asleep at night. If you need an afternoon pick-me-up, try getting outside for a 10 minute walk or drinking a cold glass of water. Moving your body and staying hydrated can reduce afternoon fatigue.
4. Maintain a regular sleep cycle
Get into bed and shut out the lights at the same time every night. Set your alarm to wake up at the same time everyday. Doing this helps your body recognize the cues of bedtime and wake time.
If these tips don't work, something else might be involved and you may require further help to get the nourishing sleep you require. That's when you can visit your Naturopath for a more individualized look at things.