How Important Is It To Get a Good Night’s Sleep?

The ultimate resource of information and tips to help you get a better night’s sleep.

The ultimate resource to help you get a better night's sleep. I wasn't sleeping soundly and I definitely wasn't sleeping enough hours to function and feel my best. Sound familiar? After keeping a sleep journal for 1 week, I made some changes and have been sleeping longer and more soundly. Click through to http://jillconyers.com to find out how. Pin it now to read later.

 

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

  1. Have a consistent sleep schedule.
  2. Avoid afternoon naps.
  3. Have a bedtime ritual that gives you time to wind down and relax.
  4. 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.)
  5. Make sure your mattress and pillow are comfortable and provide the support you need.
  6. Unplug from technology.
  7. Avoid heavy meals right before bedtime.
  8. Talk to your doctor about natural sleep aids.
  9. Limit caffein intake after noon.
  10. Try yoga, progressive muscle relaxation or nightly meditation.
  11. 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?

  1. I turn off my computer, phone and iPad 1.5 -2 hours before bed.
  2. I’m in the process of creating a night time routine just like I have a morning routine.
  3. I’ve started taking a daily magnesium supplement.
  4. I kept a sleep journal to find out what might be causing my restless sleep.
  5. 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.
  6. I’ve started going into work half an hour to a full hour early. This has significantly reduced work related stress.

More sleep resources:

15 Foods to Help You Sleep

5 Yoga Poses for Better Sleep

Restorative Bedtime Yoga Sequence

6 Things Your Bedroom Needs for a Good Night’s Sleep

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?

be the best version of YOU

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46 Comments

  1. After your review of the Vivofit, I bought one and started to use it for tracking sleep. With a now 4 year old that hasn’t slept through a night in his life, I really wanted to see if it was my perception that I wasn’t getting enough sleep or if it was accurate! I also started diffusing EO’s in my bedroom at night to help!

  2. Stress is the number 1 cause for my sleepless nights. Doing dull things before sleep is so helpful though, esppecially reading because it tires the eyes.

  3. I go to bed in time to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night but being up with the baby a couple times messes with my sleep… so not sure how much I get! Maybe I shouldn’t try to figure the exact number out because I will just feel bad 🙂 Lack of sleep does take a toll on everything!

    Unplugging before bed is very helpful for me. Reading a good book helps me to unwind and writing is a favorite night-time activity, too!

  4. The more the merrier! Sleep is just the right medicine for almost everything

  5. Great tips! I agree with all your points – especially Yoga. I have been practicing Yoga and meditation lately, and I am able to sleep continuously for up to 7 hours. Breathing exercises are helping me too. Avoiding an afternoon nap is the best but it is hard especially on weekends! Well, enjoyed reading your post today.. and a good remainder on how to get a good night sleep.

  6. For one, love the format for everything. I like the picture you have for the article.
    All the information is awesome as well. Great and very informative post that was easy on the eyes! 🙂

  7. I know that I never get enough sleep but changing habits or creating habits can be a huge struggle, especially when I’m on the road regularly. I think a great start is changing a few things at a time.

    Thanks for the tips and good luck with your schedule.

  8. Getting a great nights sleep is so important. I know I dont always feel my best when I dont get it.

  9. Oh this is such an awesome post, Jill!! I was really good about getting good sleep at the beginning of the year, and somehow I’ve convinced myself that I “don’t need that much”. I have a terrible habit of scrolling through social media before bed.

  10. Great Post!! I am always trying to find ways to help my sleep count the most. It can be hard but definitely worth it to have better and more productive days.

  11. Having a consistent sleep schedule is really important. If I don’t sleep at 10pm, I would feel like a living zombine the next day since I wake up at 6am. I don’t take drinks with caffeine so it will not be a disruption in my sleep patterns.

  12. I have the worst time sleeping, or at least falling asleep. It is so hard to get the mind to shut down. These are great tips for helping with that.

  13. Sleep precious sleep! Last night I tossed and turned and lay awake with the TV on watching Murder She Wrote and Hart to Hart reruns because I just couldn’t go to sleep. I finally fell asleep at 5am and slept for about 5 hours so your wonderful sleep tips are right on time. I do take magnesium and also use lavender to aid sleep. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Relaxing herbal teas help me sleep but then I end up waking up several times to go to the bathroom so I avoid liquids late at night. I’m pinning and sharing this.

  14. I’m a big believer that sleep is an indispensable element of a healthy lifestyle. I would agree that having a consistent sleep schedule would result to better sleep. I’ll keep in mind all the tips you mentioned. Thanks for these!

  15. I would absolutely love 6 hours of solid sleep a night. I have three little ones though under five and that just isn’t going to happen! Brilliant tips though!

  16. Unplugging is probably the hardest part for me. Great information Jill. You’re spot on with sleep deprivation effecting your hormones, and if you’re trying to make healthy changes in your life, sleep is one of the easiest changes to implement. Easier said than done though, right?

  17. Sleep is a problem for me! Both falling asleep and staying asleep sadly. I tend to sleep better when I go to bed before 10pm but I find it difficult to do because there’s so little time to relax after the kids are asleep.

  18. Great tips! Exercise and meditation help me. I used to do ok with 5 − 6 hours, but now I really need seven hours.

  19. I try really hard to get at least 6 hours. The days I’m up to train before the sun it’s more like 3.5 – 4. I know it’s not healthy but I’m such a night owl. My mornings are literally coffee coffee and more coffee. I love sleeping and have no problem staying asleep it’s just finding the time!

  20. I am TERRIBLE at sleep. Seriously it is like 6 hours a night sometimes less. I know I need to know a better night time routine as well as a couple other things. Though I have sworn off caffeine after 5, it affects me too much.

  21. Jill, I wanted to respond to the stress management part of your tips. I couldn’t agree more and I love that you emphasized *learning your triggers. It’s key to not only work towards managing stress, but understanding what brings it on.

  22. Another great & informative post from you! I agree that having a calm, phone-free bedtime ritual helps a lot.

  23. Great post! I’m trying to work on this too, but it’s so hard! I find that when I read in bed for a half hour or so before going to sleep, I end up sleeping a lot better! It helps take focus off my stress, and also gets me away from screens. Thanks for inviting me to the linkup!

  24. I go through phases of good sleep and bad but find that the more consistent I am at bedtime and wake up time the better I sleep 🙂

  25. I’ve always been a good sleeper but I have found that I get much better sleep when I read before bed rather than scroll through social media on my phone! I also know that our son has great sleep habits and I believe it is because he is on a routine that prepares him for bed every night! These are great tips!

  26. I’ve been sleeping restlessly lately probably because I have been blogging at night after kids are in bed and it’s hard to stop once I start. I have gotten into the habit of reading before bed which helps me unplug, destress and get to sleep. It just depends on when I turn off the computer and get started reading. Thanks for sharing these important reminders.

  27. I am a complete disaster when I don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep. It affects my whole life. In fact, I totally agree with the junk eating. I find myself mindlessly snacking when my brain isn’t alert from a lack of sleep. Great topic!

  28. Thanks for these great tips! I definitely need to work on turning of my electronics early enough to allow myself to wind down before bed. Most nights I’m looking at my phone until my eyes won’t stay open any longer! Not a very good habit.

  29. Oops, I may have added my Banana Bread recipe a little early for Banana Bread Day! LOL We’ve tried several things (even 3 sleep studies) but it’s non-restorative and all they can detect is that I snore. So no matter how much or how little sleep I get I’m still exhausted when I wake up.

  30. It is great, Jill, that you are taking the time for yourself and focusing on this issue as it is so critical. My mind is so active and I consequently struggle with sleep so much and go up and down with it. A night time routine can really help and has done so for me! Good luck!

  31. My goal is 7 hours and I am pretty good at getting that. I respect my sleep time and protect it. 🙂

  32. Me too, I’m trying to work on my sleep bot better quality and quantity. Its much too important and I notice the difference when Im in a deficit. I love the sleep tracker on my fitbit for keeping the records

  33. Sleep is the weakest leg of my health. I am trying to do better at unplugging earlier.

  34. I can survive on 6 hours but 7 feels perfect! Sleep is one of the things I track on my Fitbit because it does make such a difference. I like my bed time routine, hot tea before bed and in be at 10! Makes me happy!

  35. Getting a good night’s sleep is very important. My mind is cloudy when I don’t get quality sleep.

  36. This is such a great post! I struggle so much with getting enough sleep at night and I KNIW that technology plays a big part in my struggle. Unplugging and LEAVING my phonein another room would help me I’m sure!

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