How much sleep do you get on a nightly basis? Have you had to train your body to do more with less? The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night to function at their very best. Whether you need 8 hours or your body seems to do great on only 6 hours – your body needs you to sleep to keep you healthy.
Sleep is a time for repair. Without enough sleep your body may not be able to fight off common colds or the flu as effectively. Sleep is also when our bodies balance hormones that make us feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin) – this is why you feel hungrier or experience more cravings when you don’t get enough sleep.
If you are trying to get more sleep on a nightly basis try out these tips:
1. Use the ‘night mode’ on your phone in the 2-3 hours before bed. Night mode adjusts your screen light so there is less blue light being emitted from the screen. Blue light is known to keep you awake longer at night by lessening the natural melatonin production in your body. It may also suppress the brain waves that help us fall asleep (delta waves) and boost the waves that keep us awake (alpha).
2. Read a book or magazine by a dim light. Unlike the TV, reading helps to naturally relax your body and prepare you for sleep.
3. Improve your sleep environment: Keep your bedroom cool. Use blackout curtains so that your room is dark. Use a noise machine or a noise machine app. I use the app “White Noise”, I love it!
4. Exercise during the day. Moving your body will improve your sleep. Make sure that if you are engaging in intense exercise, you complete your activity at least 3 hours before you want to be asleep otherwise it may keep you up. Gentle exercise such as walking or Yoga later in the day is less likely to impact your sleep in a negative way.
5. Be selective about what you eat and drink: Avoid drinking alcohol or eating a heavy meal too close to when you want to fall asleep. Alcohol may help you initially fall asleep but is known to disrupt your natural sleep cycle and cause restless sleep. If you consume caffeine, consider cutting yourself off at noon to set yourself up for better rest that night.
In Health & Happiness,