“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?” -Ernest Hemingway
More and more studies are revealing the importance of a good night’s sleep. But what is “good” sleep and how does one attain it? And really, why does it matter? Sleep when you’re dead, right?
Sleep is absolutely essential for recovery. Our cells, muscles and organs all regenerate as we sleep. Our brain processes what we have learned while we sleep. Our hormones change and adapt while we sleep. If we are consistently sleeping less than our body’s optimal amount, all of these processes are interrupted. The immune system decreases, our ability to learn and remember are inhibited, our hormones negatively change. People who consistently get too little sleep have also been found to be more prone to accidents and disease and easily gain weight. Proper sleep is one of the most essential aspects of our overall health. In fact, you will die faster from lack of sleep then from lack of food. Here are a few tips to make sure you are sleeping well:
Consistently go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.
Eat real, quality, whole food all day long. Many people are surprised at the improvement of their sleep after their diet has been cleaned up.
Ditch electronics and bright lights for at least one hour before you hit the sack and…
Take time to unwind. Read, write, take a bath, lightly stretch.
Make sure your room is dark.
Don’t sleep next to any electronics. If your phone is near, put it on airplane mode.
Get enough exercise during the day, but don’t exercise too late as it revs up your nervous system making it difficult to unwind.
Eat a few carbs at night (fruit, veggies, nuts) which help release brain chemicals that aid in sleep.
Avoid alcohol. You may fall asleep quicker, but the depth of you sleep will be inhibited.
Try an herbal relaxant. Valerian root, magnesium, chamomile and melatonin all aid in relaxing the muscles and creating a deeper sleep. Best Rest Formula from Douglas Labs is a great, quality, affordable supplement to help with aches, pains and proper sleep. I recommend 4 days on followed by one to two days off. It is available for purchase at Lifemark Nature Park Way.