The ultimate resource of information and tips to help you get a better night’s sleep.
We all know it’s bad when you don’t get enough sleep. Right?
I recently went through a period of time when my sleep was restless. I wasn’t sleeping soundly and I definitely wasn’t sleeping enough hours to function and feel my best. After keeping a sleep journal for 1 week (more on that in a minute), the culprit, I wasn’t managing stress as well as I thought and I wasn’t intentionally destressing before going to bed.
Think about your own experience with not getting enough sleep. How did you feel after a few nights of not sleeping soundly or not getting enough sleep? Low energy especially in the morning when you wake up and thinking is less clear. Maybe you’re easily frustrated, problems seem 10 times bigger and you’re less patient. Sound familiar?
Wait, there’s one more, mindless snacking. It’s true. Or is that just me?
Studies have shown not getting enough sleep can lead to changes in hormone levels that can increase hunger and appetite and also make you feel less full after eating. Also, if you’re sleep deprived, you may demonstrate less self control than when you’re well rested.
Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
- Have a consistent sleep schedule.
- Avoid afternoon naps.
- Have a bedtime ritual that gives you time to wind down and relax.
- Exercise daily (typically people report better sleep with exercising regularly including falling asleep more quickly, longer period of deep sleep and feeling more refreshed in the morning.)
- Make sure your mattress and pillow are comfortable and provide the support you need.
- Unplug from technology.
- Avoid heavy meals right before bedtime.
- Talk to your doctor about natural sleep aids.
- Limit caffein intake after noon.
- Try yoga, progressive muscle relaxation or nightly meditation.
- Manage stress. Know your triggers to help avoid or minimize the stress in your day.
Another tip I recommend, keep a sleep journal.
The magic number of sleep hours varies a bit for each of us, but you know when you’re sleep deprived. If we go too long in “sleep deficit” mode many aspects of our lives may suffer. It is not possible to pinpoint an exact amount of sleep need by people at different ages.
The National Sleep Foundation provides the following guidelines, including a minimum and maximum range, as a “rule of thumb” to consider with regards to how much sleep you need.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
- Teenager 14-17 Years: 8-10 Hours
- Young Adult 18-25 Years: 7-9 Hours
- Adult 26-64 Years: 7-9 Hours
- Older Adult >65 Years: 7-8 Hours
Getting enough sleep can help create a resistance to stress related illnesses and immune function, helps you start the day feeling refreshed and invigorated, and helps reduce the feelings of stress. Getting enough sleep helps your body perform and enables you to maximize your workout. Track how many hours of sleep you get each night for 5-7 days along with details of how you felt when you woke up, energy level throughout the day, etc.
What has all this information done for me?
- I turn off my computer, phone and iPad 1.5 -2 hours before bed.
- I’m in the process of creating a night time routine just like I have a morning routine.
- I’ve started taking a daily magnesium supplement.
- I kept a sleep journal to find out what might be causing my restless sleep.
- I know the experts recommend 7-9 hours, but 6 hours of sound sleep is proving to be the perfect night’s sleep for me.
- I’ve started going into work half an hour to a full hour early. This has significantly reduced work related stress.
More sleep resources:
I would love to chat:
How many hours of sleep do you get each night? Have you ever tried a night time ritual? What makes the biggest difference in how soundly you sleep?
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