Today we put an end to the “sleep is for the weak” myth once and for all.
Did you know that humans are the only species that deprive themselves of sleep on purpose? WHAT? Deprive ourselves on PURPOSE?! We are tired but still we wait a few extra hours before going to sleep, because it’s too early, we have stuff to do that is too important, we need to hit the gym, the list is endless.
Have you ever stopped to think about what sacrificing our sleep does to our well-being? It can make our reaction time slower (think more accidents), depressed, forgetful, more aches and pains, a KILLER for the sex drive. Our skin appears aged. Those cravings! We just can’t seem to control our appetite, no matter how hard we try. Do we even need to discuss the list of diseases that the lack of sleep can put you at risk for? Cardiovascular disease is a biggie, along with diabetes and some forms of cancer.
We try to fight it. More coffee in the morning to wake us up. That afternoon crash gets another cup. Forget the nap, no time for that. The drive home has us closing our eyes once for just a second and one more time for almost a second too long. Bam…. second wind hits. Along with that comes tired and wired. Followed by our old friend anxiety, here to remind us of all the things we didn’t get done and everything we need to add to the list for tomorrow. Toss and turn and repeat.
Imagine what you say to your best friend if she was exhausted? “Girl, you are looking rough, you need to take a nap once in a while, take care of yourself”. Why can’t we talk to ourselves in that best friend voice?
In reality sleep should be the ultimate self-care goal. It’s time to get off this vicious cycle.
Have you ever taken a moment to consider what life would feel like with less aches and pains, more energy, a balanced mood, a happier, healthier more in control you? Adding a couple extra hours to your sleep each night turns those into completely attainable goals. Most adults think they are doing great with 5,6,7 hours sleep per night when in fact we need to be striving for 8 or more. Here are 15 basic tips to get you on your way to a better night sleep
- Banish light from technology at least 1 hour before bed (longer the better)
- Update your mattress
- Eat some carbs at night
- Cut out the caffeine, cigarettes or sugar near bedtime
- Have a bedtime routine
- Do some stretches, yoga, foam roll
- Keep the bedroom cool
- Exercise often
- If your mind can’t settle, read
- Use a sunlight alarm clock
- Make your room super dark
- Play relaxing sounds
- Have a soak in the tub
- Avoid over OR under hydrating
- Get outside during the day particularly in the morning
What can you work on to work your way towards a better night sleep?
By Arlene Goode. Arlene is a Certified Personal Trainer at Body Design. Body Design offers Personal Training & Yoga to assist individuals achieve their fitness, weight loss & wellness goals. Visit www.bodydesign.ca