Hi Studio Movers and friends….this week our focus is on sleep. This is my (Tania) biggest challenge ….I have battled with insomnia for many years off and on, and with it comes anxiety and exhaustion. I haven’t found a magic remedy yet….although I haven’t given up J
Sleep is one of the most important needs in life, so it is an important factor of holistic wellness that’s needs to be considered. Without proper and sufficient sleep, we break down mentally and physically, causing moodiness, lack of concentration, sluggishness and we’re prone to stress related symptoms. If you want to optimise your health or lose weight, then getting a good night's sleep is one of the most important things you can do, with an aim to get 7-9 hours a night of quality sleep.
There are many factors that can interfere with a good night's sleep — from work stress and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges, such as illness. It's no wonder that quality sleep is sometimes elusive.
While you might not be able to control the factors that interfere with your sleep, you can adopt habits that encourage better sleep. Start with these simple tips.
Stick to a sleep schedule
Set aside no more than eight hours for sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours. Most people don't need more than eight hours in bed to achieve this goal.
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour. Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle.
If you don't fall asleep within about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and do something relaxing. Read or listen to soothing music. Go back to bed when you're tired. Repeat as needed. Hmmmmm…….I lay awake for hours in bed in the hope that ‘playing dead’ will help
Pay attention to what you eat and drink
Don't go to bed hungry or stuffed. In particular, avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Your discomfort might keep you up.
Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol deserve caution, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.
Create a restful environment
Create a room that's ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Exposure to light might make it more challenging to fall asleep. Avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.
Exposure to blue light at night time impacts your circadian rhythm, tricking your brain into thinking its still daytime, reducing hormones like melatonin, which help you relax and get deep sleep. Blue light it the light on your phone, TV or laptop, so 2 hours before bed restrict watching TV, or download an app on your phone to block blue light... or try reading a book.
Doing calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, might promote better sleep. In this heat a cold shower before bed can also help. There are some great breathing techniques you can use to calm your mind too. Try this one:
- Take a long, deep inhale.
- Exhale fully while focusing intently on your body and how it feels.
- After doing this a few times, slow down your exhale so that it’s twice as long as your inhale.
- Here’s a website with a few more breathing exercises you may like to try.
Limit daytime naps…..jeepers who has time for naps!!!!!
Long daytime naps can interfere with night-time sleep. If you choose to nap, limit yourself to up to 30 minutes and avoid doing so late in the day.
If you work nights, however, you might need to nap late in the day before work to help make up your sleep debt.
Include physical activity in your daily routine
Regular physical activity can promote better sleep. Avoid being active too close to bedtime, however.
Spending time outside every day might be helpful, too.
Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Jot down what's on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.
Stress management is a must; start with the basics, such as getting organised, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Meditation also can ease anxiety.
Sleep Supplements: several supplements can induce relaxation and help you sleep, including:
- Ginkgo biloba: A natural herb with many benefits, including the aid in sleep and stress reduction.
- Magnesium: Improves relaxation & enhance sleep quality.
- Lavender: A powerful essential oil that can induce a calming effect to improve sleep. Psychologists at Wesleyan University in Connecticut had 31 men and women sniff lavender essential oil one night – and then distilled water the next. Researchers monitored their sleep cycles with brain scans and found that lavender increased slow-wave sleep, instrumental for slowing heartbeat and relaxing muscles. Subjects slept more soundly on a lavender night. The group also reported feeling more energetic the next morning.
Sleep is the best meditation - Dalai Lama
Last week it was great to hear a few of you talking about new morning routines. How are you going with your 20 small goals and incorporating some warm ups and stretching into your day? We’d love some feedback. Have a great week.
Tania, Ryan, Aana & Shiana