It’s sleep week! The week we have allllll been waiting for. This is one of the first things I ask my clients about : “How much sleep do you get on average?”, “Do you wake up in the middle of the night” and “Do you feel rested?”.
The average adult (over 18) should get 7-9 hours of sleep. Some really super awesome magic happens while we get quality sleep. First, our internal organs rest and recover which allows tissue repair, muscle growth, and protein synthesis primarily occur during sleep. Hormones that help regulate appetite control, stress, growth, metabolism, and other bodily functions are released. Lastly, memory consolidation occurs, allowing for the formation and storage of new memories, which is essential for learning new information (Source IIN).
Unfortunately, getting that amount of sleep is often sacrifice to catch up on work or the end of the day “to do” list. Consistent poor sleeping patterns can cause real problems for our health including:
- Weight gain
- Higher risk for accidents and falls
- Declined cognitive functioning
- Increased anxiety
- Increased risk of chronic disease
OK Let’s get to BED, here is some advice:
- Eat a lighter meal in the evening and avoid late night snacking can also help us take full advantage of our body’s natural nighttime repair process.
- Limit sugar and caffeine intake.
- Try not to drink a lot in the evening – waking up to pee is the worst!
- Some foods are said to have sleeping properties other than turkey. Try chamomile tea, tart cherries, healthy fats like salmon and walnuts and leafy greens.
- Use an aromatherapy diffuser – try some lavender 💜
- Remove or put away electronic devices – Blue light exposure tricks your brain that it is STILL daytime and delays the melatonin release which start the lull that brings you to sleep.
- Get an awesome book and scroll pages not your phones.
- Room darkening curtains to reduce excess light in the mornings.
- Fluffy pillows and a silk pillowcase – Purely for comfort!
- Noise cancelling headphones or white noise machines.
- Weighted blankets – Jules and I both have one and I swear it helps me sleep and he snores less…don’t tell him I said that.
- Set an alarm on your phone for an hour before you want to sleep and start a “bedtime routine”.
- Try some yoga, journaling, reading, or connecting with a loved one.
- Meditations (4-7-8 technique) is the best
- Taking an evening walk to connect with nature which can stimulate the rest and restore part of your nervous system.
Supplements (please note this is NOT medical advice and any supplements should be cleared by a physician first):
- Melatonin (1-2 mg dose),
- Adaptogens (Plants that can be medicinal) like Reishi and Ashwaganda,
- Magnesium Glycinate – There are many types of magnesium supplements, glycinate in particular can provide a calm state to support sleep.
So this week’s challenge is evaluating your sleep. The goal is 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. One of the best things you can do is prioritize your sleep! Because let’s face it, we feel better when we get quality rest such as:
- Increased energy to make beneficial lifestyle choices (cooking, exercise, self-care, etc.);
- Strengthened immune system;
- Heightened alertness, focus, and creativity;
- Improved mood by reducing anxiety, irritability, and mental exhaustion;
- Increased libido (sex drive)!!