Who Needs Sleep??
I am the poster child of that saying "I'll sleep when I die" I am always going. Constantly! And I always felt guilty to stop any type of organizing or work before 11pm at night. With a house of four kids, working from home, and online school there is literally a mess every time I turn around.
Let's face it- work life, mom life, single life, married life, pet life.... it all equals constant WORK!
And quite frankly, it's never settled and done but when you finally get to a point where you think you can put things aside well, you get very little rest at the end of the day.
Why do we need sleep? Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases. Sleep provides an opportunity for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself. In recent years, these ideas have gained support from evidence collected in human and animal studies. Many of the major restorative functions in the body like muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and growth hormone release occur mostly, or in some cases only, during sleep.
If you've ever gone an extended period of time without sleep I'm sure you've noticed your inability to function properly. Things are fuzzy, you're moving slow, and you just can't accomplish things the way they need to be done.
The Circadian Rhythm Connection
The sleep-wake cycle is one of the most clear and critical examples of the importance of circadian rhythms. During the day, light exposure causes the master clock to send signals that generate alertness8 and help keep us awake and active. As night falls, the master clock initiates the production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep, and then keeps transmitting signals that help us stay asleep through the night. In this way, our circadian rhythm aligns our sleep and wakefulness with day and night to create a stable cycle of restorative rest that enables increased daytime activity.
Extended periods without sleep are disastrous to our health in the long run. Disturbing our natural circadian rhythm is not healthy. Research continues to uncover details about circadian rhythms, but evidence has connected them to metabolism and weight through the regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol. Circadian rhythms influence mental health as well, including the risk of psychiatric illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder as well as the potential for neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. There are indications that circadian rhythms have an important influence on the immune system as well as processes of DNA repair that are involved in preventing cancer.
What Can I do to Help Get Better Sleep?
1)Try to Finish Eating 3-4 hours prior to bedtime
Eating late meals and drinking alcohol before bed can create unhealthy sleep habits and encourage weight gain. Try limiting your eating window to 10 hours per day, to improve your metabolism and sleep quality. In case you do get the late-night munchies, try healthier food options like oatmeal, yogurt, or nuts to boost your melatonin levels before bedtime.
2)Set A "Wind Down" Routine In Place
It always helps to develop a routine to "wind down". We live in a society where everything is instantaneously delivered or handed to us, especially an overload of information thru our phones. Disconnecting from our phones is something that should definitely be at the top of your list to setting up your evening to relax prior to bedtime. If you're constantly replying to emails past normal "business" times set up some clear and healthy boundaries. A lot of the time we make ourselves overly accessible for people that would not give us the same courtesy. If you're constantly scrolling thru social media all hours of the evening, make a conscious effort to stop at a specific time.
3)Wash Off Stress in the Shower or Tub
Taking a shower or bath one or two hours before bed lowers the body’s temperature and encourages healthy sleep. Even if you’re a morning bather, it feels good to wash off the day.
In the morning, you’re often rushed, so showering at night allows you to take your time. Try taking a sleep aid before you step into the shower or bath to help relax your mind and body.
4)Brain Dump Your "To-Do" List
Creating a to-do list prevents the mind from worrying about tomorrow’s tasks. Bedtime writing is a mental dump of information that organizes future responsibilities and allows you to release anxiety. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have an itinerary ready to start the day.
If you’re up for more mental cleaning at bedtime, then a longer writing session may be in order.
5)Simple Foam Rolling or a Mini Yoga Session To Unwind
Using foam rolling and yoga for sleep will help relax your muscles and ground your mind before bed. They decelerate the mind and body, relieve tension and improve sleep quality.
Foam rolling, also known as myofascial release or trigger point therapy, can reduce muscle soreness and stiffness. Similar to a massage, it relaxes tight muscles and increases blood flow. You’ll go from being stiff as a board to a ball of putty in no time.
Yoga is the ultimate grounding practice. Poses like downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), cat-cow (Chakravakasana) and child’s pose (Balasana) push stress out of hamstrings, shoulders and lower back. Other positions will loosen muscles that you didn’t even know were tight. For best results, listen to your bedtime playlist and focus on breathing and calming yourself.
5)Take A Clean Non-Habit Forming Supplement
Our Highbernation gummies are all natural and have been so amazing for my family! Totally safe to take for everyone and they do not contain THC. They are a gentle blend of CBD, Melatonin, and Valerian Root. You drift off to sleep and sleep the whole way thru, and wake up without any groggy feelings!
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And get that much needed rest!!