Sleep is one of the cornerstones of Optimal Health™, but it’s importance is all-too-often underestimated. Sleep is the glue that keeps our health and life together and it is an area where I feel many people struggle.
Before I discuss how to get better sleep, I want to remind you to join me (and hundreds of others) for this week’s Habits of Health webinar which is going to be quite the eye opener!
The Habits of Health Webinar is on Wednesday night at 5:30pm PST (6:30pm M, 7:30pm C, 8:30pm E)
(The clients who hop on these find WAY MORE SUCCESS! If you missed last week’s webinar, the playback is now available: bit.ly/hohplaybacks)
The VALUE of Sleep
Sleep is your body’s way of restoring organ function, stabilizing chemical imbalance, refreshing areas of the brain that control mood and behavior, and improving performance. During sleep, your brain replenishes spent nutrients and repairs circuitry, rearranging your experiences much like a computer rearranges data.
To assess the quality of your sleep at a glance, consider the following questions:
- Wake up tired in the morning?
- Need a nap in the afternoon?
- Fall asleep watching television?
- Find yourself sleepy after lunch?
- Have difficulty falling asleep?
- Have difficulty staying asleep?
- Drink several cups of coffee or energy drinks to stay awake?
If you answered “yes” to many of these questions, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
In 2006, an Institute of Medicine report found that between 50 and 70 million people in the U.S. are not getting enough sleep. I typed up some quick tips that incorporate into your daily life to prevent yourself from becoming another statistic (reference page 217 of Dr. A’s Habits of Health for a complete guide to revamping your sleep):
- Get out of bed when your alarm goes off and limit your in-bed activities to train your mind to always associate sleep with your bed.
- Limit your caffeine intake (especially late in the day and within hours of your bedtime).
- Decrease stimulation from electronics and other sources of bright light at least 30 minutes prior to trying to fall asleep.
- Avoid exercising within two hours of your bedtime to help your body’s natural process for releasing the chemicals that induce sleep.
- Set a sleep schedule and stick to it all week including weekends.
Joyce Blonskij, Your Personal Health Coach