You cannot achieve optimal health without adequate sleep. Sleep is crucial for brain function, hormonal balance, and body repair.
You should be getting about 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
Sleep deprivation can cause headaches, weight gain, impaired learning, high blood pressure, low immunity, genetic disruptions, depression, and just more inflammation in the body.
Any health, fitness, and/or weight loss goal needs to include appropriate sleep in the game plan.
Tips for a Good Night Sleep
1. Keep a consistent schedule
Try to go to sleep at the same time every night. And the sleep you get from 10pm-6am is the most restorative.
You should aim to be asleep by 10:30 at the latest. If you’re use to going to bed later, try easing into it in 15 minute increments every day.
2. Stay off electronic devices 1-2 hours before bed
Blue light emitted from smartphones, computers, television, tablets, and other devices disrupt our circadian rhythm which will disrupt your natural sleep cycle.
If you need to use electronics, minimize your blue light exposure by wearing orange goggles that block out the blue light and install f.lux on your computer, which is a free program that changes the amount of blue light your computer emits depending on the time of day.
3. Keep your bedroom as dark as possible
Install black out shades. Cover LED lights and any light sources in your room – even the small ones from your digital devices and alarm clocks. Use a sleep mask if necessary.
You should also make sure you are getting light exposure during the day without sunglasses. Bright sunlight helps keep your circadian rhythm in balance. Consider a light therapy box if necessary.
4. Minimize caffeine
Consume caffeinated drinks and foods in the earlier hours of the day – preferably before lunch.
5. Avoid heavy meals and alcohol before bed
If you have a tendency toward hypoglycemia, eat a light snack before bed.
6. Take a bath with epsom salts
The warm water and extra magnesium has a calming effect that can help you fall asleep.
7. Learn stress management techniques
One of the top reasons for sleep issues and disorders is stress. Elevated cortisol levels disrupt your circadian rhythm. Explore ways to wind down from a hectic day and manage stressful situations. Try gentle yoga, meditation, journaling, baths, laughter, hobbies, and walks.
8. Manage your blood sugar
Avoid spiking your blood sugar from high glycemic foods like sugary treats and refined carbs, especially before bed. These spikes are usually followed by steep drop in blood sugar which increases cortisol production that contributes to bad sleep and a cause for late night awakenings.
9. Drink some herbal tea before bed
Try herbs with relaxing properties like chamomile and lemon balm. If you need extra help falling asleep, try some herbal blends like Tulsi Sleep from Organic India and Organic Nighty Night from Traditional Medicinals.
10. Essential Oils
Lavender essential oil has a calming effect on the nervous system. You can place a drop on your pillow or massage it on your feet or diffuse it or add them to your bath salts.
I only recommend 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oil.
Sleep is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle that includes clean eating, exercise, movement, etc… The healthier you get, the better you sleep, and getting good sleep will make you healthier. All these different pieces work together to keep you vibrant and healthy.