Get a good night’s sleep!We hear this all the time, and it seems obvious right? However actually getting a good night’s sleep can be challenging with the busyness of life and the holiday season upon us.
Are you on the computer or watching TV right up until moments before you crawl into bed, or are you in bed while doing so? The mind and body need to wind down for a peaceful, restful restorative sleep. The electromagnetic energy of TVs, computers, and cell phones keep us over-stimulated and wide awake. Give yourself a good hour of reading a relaxing book (not on business) or listening to peaceful music.
The body begins to produce melatonin in the early evening so you fall into a restful sleep; let it do its work. And, stick to a pattern of rising and going to bed; even on weekends. Also, keep a pad of paper and a pen beside your bed so that you can write things down that might be keeping you awake…it’s usually your to-do list!.
Nature dictates that 1/3 or more of our life is invested in sleep. Our combined sleep debt of 130 billion hours annually in North America has a direct cost of $16.8 billion and indirect costs due to work-related accidents / time off. By the end of the year most of us are short almost a full 3 weeks of sleep. That is scary! Long-term sleep debt can cause obesity, cancer, strokes, depression and diabetes. A full sleep cycle is 8-8 1/2 hours or up to 9 hours for some adults is optimum. As our body rests it repairs itself and we produce growth hormones and melatonin that help us sleep.
To sleep we must:
- Have a bedroom that is fully dark, no blinking lights from TV’s, VCR’s clocks, & no nightlights. There are light monitoring cells on the surface of our skin that sense the light and this keeps us awake.
- Try not to eat after 8pm, especially processed or sugary foods which elevate blood sugar at the time we need to prepare for sleep; not digestion. If you do need to have a light snack, make sure that it is easily digested such as fruit, yogurt, or a light cereal.
- Keep to the same schedule every day even on weekends; up by 6-7 am, in bed by 10pm.
- Heat up any organic milk you may use with nutmeg and cardamom. (in a pot on the stove, not the microwave, and heat until you see bubbles on the surface.
- Place a few drops of the essential oil lavender on your forehead or pillow.
- Beginning a meditation practice or practicing deep breathing exercises before bed calms down your nervous system and clears your mind from the day.
If anyone tells you they are a ‘night owl,’ they are likely out of sync with their natural biological rhythms – late night reading and TV-watching creates those habits.
You owe it to yourself and your long-term wellness to take sleep as serious business!
“There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.”
I wish you an abundant winter season filled with much love, passion and adventure. As always I am here to support you in this life journey – and welcome your feedback.