Updated: Dec 4, 2021
Chances are that you are in the group of over 60% of Americans who are sleep and sleep quality deprived. When we do not get healthy sleep we miss out on the benefits of what sleep can do for our overall health.
Studies have shown that sleep plays a vital role in these chronic health issues; High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Obesity, Diabetes, and Depression. If you are someone who can say; I don't get enough sleep or I do not get quality sleep and; I have one of the above health issues, then you are a candidate to change both your perspective and habits when it comes to your sleep lifestyle. Even if you don’t have one of these health issues, if you do not get quality sleep imagine how much better you could feel with better sleep habits and preparation!
At Faithfully-Fit we start sleep lifestyle changes with three important and easy to implement steps. These steps are free of cost and actually could save you money in the long run! More sleep and less expenses: sign us all up!
Preparing your body to sleep early in the morning. Preparation for sleep happens at two very important stages of the day. The first is making sure that you are receiving sunlight on your body early in the morning. By doing this you are letting your central nervous system know that you should be awake and gets your natural circadian rhythm in order. One of the downfalls of our society is the habit of being indoors all day long. The body gets both confused and creates a unhealthy circadian rhythm, which is why we don't feel tired at night and have trouble falling asleep.
Preparing your body for sleep in the evening. Preparation for sleep continues in the evening. When we think about natural sunlight and how it awakens our body for the day we need to also think about unnatural light and what it does for us in the evening. By inundating ourselves with screen time after dinner we are telling our system that it is still daytime and that we should be awake. This is also creating an unhealthy circadian rhythm which is confusing to our bodies. The amount of screen time after dinner should be limited as much as possible. Substitute reading a book, playing cards, having tea, or doing homework with your kids.
Prepare the temperature in your room. Research has shown the immense benefits of sleeping in a cooler temperature. Ideally your temperature should be set between 61-69 degrees. Studies show that REM sleep, which is crucial for memory repair, is at its peak in cooler temperatures. The body wants to naturally cool down in the evening to prepare for sleeping. Even though heating blankets and higher thermostat settings are snuggly and warm on a cold winters night, perhaps we should take a step back and see if it is actually affecting our sleep. Do test on yourself for a week and adjust some of the temperature pieces in your house in the evening. Does it make a different for you?
We know that sleeping is something that is not necessarily valued in our culture, but the days of feeling like the early bird always gets the worm is not always true. The healthy, strong, rested bird gets the worm!
Stay Restful Faithfully-Fit!