28 Nov Don’t Sleep on Sleep
Don’t SLEEP on SLEEP.
Meditate on that!!
Some of us are returning to work after a few days off, some folks did not get a break at all. But how many of us really are caught up on our sleep?
Are you feeling exhausted or like you’re “running on stress hormones” all day long?
Do not fear! I have some great tips for you!
The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated, and forever growing.
Sleep is this daily thing that we all do (hopefully), and yet we’re just beginning to understand all of the ways it helps us and all of the factors that can affect it.
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in our bodies and minds. People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Now, ya’ll know we just can’t go out like that. We know for many of us this is connected to historical trauma and it showed up in our DNA. But the good news is that we can interrupt and reverse many of these conditions. Not to mention, sleep affects things like our metabolism, weight, hormone imbalance, and inflammation. And… don’t forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory, and decision-making skills. All of these things are pretty much crucial to the everyday functioning of a person’s life, right?
Did you know that a lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program? (Gasp!) Who has time for that? (THE ANSWER IS NOBODY.)
O.M.GEEEE – If you really wanted to get down to it, what aspects of our health does sleep not affect???
Knowing all of this, it’s easy to identify the three main purposes of sleep:
- To restore our body and mind – Our bodies repair, grow, and even “detoxify” our brains while we sleep.
- To improve our brain’s ability to learn and remember things – This is actually technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.
- To conserve some energy – This helps us to not just be actively “out and about” 24-hours a day, every single day.
Do you even know how much sleep adults actually need?
Surprisingly, it’s less than your growing kids need, but you may be surprised that it’s recommended that all adults get 7 – 9 hours a night. For real! (Raise your hand if you get 7 – 9 hours a sleep every night?!)
Listen, I know this can be difficult. But please be gentle with yourself. When we know better, we do better, right?
So, try not to cut corners on sleep! YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!
(Don’t worry, I have you covered with a some serious actionable tips below to help you treat yourself right with sleep.)
5 Tips for Better Sleep
- SCHEDULE BEDTIME. My biggest tip is definitely to try to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule. Whenever possible, try to go to sleep and get up at the same time each day. Yes do this every single day – Seven. Days. A. Week. I know weekends can easily throw this off, but by making sleep a priority for a few weeks, your body and mind will adjust (and thank you for it).You can tell I am not a parent, lol. But still do what you can. YOU GOT THIS!!!
- BALANCE. Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. You know – eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods (full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber). Believe me, I know that struggle is real real. But, the choices can be as simple as choosing the whole orange instead of the juice (or orange-flavored snack). Make sure you’re also getting in some protein every time you eat.
- LIMIT SUGAR. Cut off your caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm. Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine; it’s the “added” sugar we’re minimizing here. Yes, this includes your beloved chai latte (sorry not sorry). Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind a bit more active than you want it to be when evening comes. (HINT: I have a great caffeine-free chai latte recipe for you – check it out here).
- RELAX. Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts at least 30 minutes before your “lights out” time (that is 7 – 9 hours before your alarm is set to go off). This would include dimming your artificial lights, nixing screen time, and perhaps even reading an (actual, not an “e”) book. Maybe you’re a bath person – baths are great relaxing times. #goals #amIright
- MEDITATE. I did not forget about meditation, trust me. Here is a simple meditation you can try tonight. With electronics off and no extra light seeping into your eyes, you can meditate. Pro-Tip: do not wait until it is super quiet and the kids are fast asleep. You can cultivate the ability to find calm even in chaos. Take 3 deep breaths wherever you are – make sure they’re slow, intentional breaths. Find some stillness. If you are not yet laying down, go ahead and do so. Repeat this mantra in your head at least 5 times: I am ushering in the presence of deep rest (5X). Let your eyes close. Feel your body relax. Keep breathing (if you are not yet sleep). Repeat this mantra: I am worth taking care of (5X). Do not worry if you don’t fall asleep right away; it may take several tries. You are training your self-conscious mind to support your need to rest.
May you have sweet dreams and a restful night.
How many of these tips can you start implementing today? I’m excited to hear the steps you’re going to take to create a more restful night’s sleep!
Make sure to head on over to Radical Self-Care University Facebook Group and let us know what you’re trying tonight! You may just give someone the boost they need to start treating themselves well and get better nights of sleep!