We can all recall a time in our lives when someone has said to us "Just sleep on it" or "You will feel better after a good night's rest". Sleep is crucial to our daily functioning. We need sleep to keep us smart, young, emotionally balanced, eating healthy, and functioning at our best.
When sleep is compromised all systems are out of sorts. In fact, I have seen people even become psychotic due to sleep deprivation. And did you know, 1 in 6 car accidents are due to sleep deprivation?!? Workers who sadly have swing schedules (sometimes they work nights and other times they work days) actually have a shorter life span by up to 10 years! This is an alarming thought and highlights our need for predictable sleep patterns at night. Finally, sleep deprivation is also a HUGE contributing factor to mental health problems like anxiety, depression, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder and more.
Sleep is necessary for our survival. So why is it so hard for people?!?
Below are 6 ways to help you maximize your rest time:
1. Studies show peak sleeping hours are between 10pm and 2am. If you are a person who only gets 4-6 hrs of sleep then target this time frame. After 10pm people experience a sort of rebound and have a "second wind". Avoid falling into this trap by going to bed earlier.
2. Cut the caffeine after 2pm. Coffee, teas, sodas are loaded with caffeine which pulses through our body for at least 7 hrs and then reduces to a half life within our bodies after that. If you want to go to bed at 9pm then cut out your afternoon brew.
3. Unplug from your screens 1 hour prior to bedtime. Screens emit blue light which stimulates serotonin. This neurotransmitter keeps us awake and productive. Limiting screen time 1 hour prior to bed helps the brain produce melatonin for sleep. This also means turning off your televisions at night!
4. Total Darkness. That's right, your room should be so dark you can hardly see your hand in front of your face. Our minds are very perceptive to light in the room, even the slightest nigh light can keep our minds moving instead of resting.
5. Keep it cool. Studies show that sleeping between 60-69 degree Fahrenheit can cure insomnia! People need to sleep in cold, dark, and quiet places...cave like=) Keep your room cold at night and keep a pair of socks handy if you are chilly when falling asleep.
5. Sleep Guided Meditations are a wonderful way to ease your worried and active mind. This specific meditation which can easily be found in a google search releases stress in the body and the mind. A perfect way to ease into a peaceful night of sleep.
For a simple, easy to read, informative book on improved sleep check out: http://sleepsmarterbook.com