Optimal sleep is the key to optimal health! 7-9 hours of uninterrupted REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle sleep will have you feeling energized, alert, present and healthy.
Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation
Did you know? Sleep deprivation can cause weight gain particularly in the mid-section. Lack of sleep can also weaken your immune system, decrease energy and mental alertness, decrease cognitive functions, impair judgement, impair posture and increase the stress hormone cortisol.
Nowadays, it seems harder than ever to get a good nights sleep. Whether you are running around chasing children, your mind is racing with work and other commitments or you are simply feeling restless – figuring out how to fall asleep and stay asleep is a challenge. Do not worry we are here to help you get your best nights sleep!
Best Practices for Optimal Sleep
1. Pick a time
Typically it can take up to 2 hours to unwind. Knowing this, pick the time you would ideally like to fall asleep and work backwards from there. If you want to be in bed and asleep by 10pm you should begin unwinding as early as 8pm. How do you ‘unwind’? Check out the tips below.
Now that you know when to start winding down, it’s time to take action. Turn off the T.V., Computer, Tablet and Phone. The light from the screens keeps your mind stimulated and therefore hinders your ability to truly relax. This will likely be the most challenging task, but once mastered you will never look back.
3. Dim the lights
Make sure your room is cool, quiet and dark. Turn off or dim any harsh lighting to create a calm and quiet atmosphere.
Scents like Lavender, Camomile, Ylang Ylang, Sage and Jasmine have been linked to reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Use an essential oil diffuser, light a scented candle or have the actual plants in your home to take advantage of these natural sleep remedies.
Simple stretching will relive the body of tension, improve circulation and relieve restlessness. Pick your favourite stretches, this is the time to treat yourself. We suggest: forward fold, spinal twist, child’s pose and of course shavasana (corpse pose).
It is time to feed your soul. Read a book; try to avoid a tablet or backlit e-reader because it will reduce your melatonin production. Reading a book allows you to escape the every day and gets your mind off of anything that may be a stressor.
Inhale through your nose for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7 and exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. This method of breathing delivers more oxygen to your body and encourages a more optimal sleep.
End your day on a positive note. Instead of stressing, get in the habit of recounting what you are grateful for and drift off to sleep with gratitude.
Here’s to sweet dreams and a healthier you!
Let us know which methods really work for you and if we happen to be missing any good ones.