As I lay in bed trying to go to sleep I started wondering, “What am I going to write about this week?” Then it hit me, “What about the importance of sleep and how it affects our health?” About 1/3 of our adult life should be spent sleeping. According to the CDC, 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. Sleep deprivation can compromise our mood, work, and most importantly our health. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 6 hours a night are more prone to obesity and a high risk of cardiovascular disease, and even diabetes. For most of us, the culprit is stress, but other factors such as lack of exercise, alcohol consumption and caffeine can also be problematic.
If you enjoy caffeine, stop your intake 4-6 hours before you plan on going to bed. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it affects your REM sleep (this is your most restorative sleep phase). Exercise is the best medicine for relieving stress…sweat it out! When all else fails, Mom was right, warm milk actually does help you fall asleep. It has lactic acid in it which releases a chemical when warmed that triggers a natural sleep cycle.
Another way to combat sleep problems is through nutrition. According to Lisa Tsakos, registered nutritionist with NaturallySavvy.com, foods that provide B vitamins promote wakefulness and improve your mood throughout the day while encouraging a restful sleep at night. Whole grains, leafy greens, legumes, and lean meats are the best source of B vitamins. If you don’t eat many of these foods, give Life Shotz a try. They are filled with B vitamins (not to mention the Vitamin D and anti-oxidants!) Many of my clients that are taking Life Shotz discover they are sleeping deeper and waking up more refreshed!
Turn off your brain before bed. Create a quite, soothing atmosphere as you get ready for bed. Turn off the television and computer at least 30 minutes before retiring. That will help quite your mind. If you feel overwhelmed with a big deadline coming up, keep a pad of paper by your bed so you can dump your ideas out of your brain and onto paper. I do this often, and it really helps!
Finally, try to go to bed by 10pm every night. Waking up at the same time everyday also helps to regulate your internal clock. Even though we enjoy sleeping late on the weekends, that can make Monday morning very difficult to crawl out of bed when that alarm clock sounds. Making these small changes can help you sleep soundly through the night.
Yours in health,