When I have my grandkids for a sleepover I am often envious at bedtime wishing someone would tell me to put on my jammies and tell me to go to sleep. Kids resist sleep but we all know what happens if they don’t get it and as adults we are the same. Due to our social restraints we might not throw ourselves on the floor when our eggs don’t turn out right at breakfast but emotionally and physically we struggle through the day much the way our 4 year old self did when bedtime comes too late.
We all know rest is important but in our hectic and over-stimulated lives however it is often one of the most overlooked aspects to improving our health and well being.
What is considered a healthy amount of sleep?
Most adults need between 7-9 hrs of sleep a night depending on their activity level and age. You can get it all in one go at night or take a short nap during the day to get your quota.
How can sleep improve your health?
- It is easier to maintain a healthy body weight as when you are sleep deprived it messes with the hormones that control your appetite.
- You will have a stronger immune system to fight illness.
- If you get sick or injured you will recover faster.
- You are more motivated to exercise and athletic performance improves.
- A rested mind is more productive and creative at solving problems.
How can you improve your sleep health?
- Set a bedtime for yourself and make sure it is early enough for you to get the full 7-9 hours you need. If that is not possible, carve out time during the day to lie down and rest. Even if you don’t sleep during your “rest” your body will still get many of the same benefits as you would if you had napped.
- Limit caffeine consumption afternoon & avoid alcohol consumption and other liquids right before bed.
- Don’t eat a big meal before bed, have a light snack to avoid waking up hungry..
- Turn off electronics 30 minutes prior to going to bed.
- Eliminate external noises that might awaken you or use a white noise app or fan to help drown those out.
I challenge you to try the 5 steps above for one week and see if you feel better. With the “Shelter in Place” orders many of us have new “found time” in our days. Most of us don’t have to travel to and from work each day, we are working shorter hours, we are not spending time running here and there for activities. This is a perfect opportunity to take that “found time” and improve our sleep health.
Sleep well my friends,