Simple Steps to help you get the quantity and quality of sleep for better health!
Most of us think of sleep as a simple concept. In that, sleep only helps to rejuvenate and restore our bodies and brains. However, sleep is much more than just that! It has the power to influence how we eat, how fast our metabolism runs, whether we gain weight or stay lean, whether we can fight off infection and just about every area of our life is influenced by sleep.
Did you know that just one sleepless night can hamper the body’s ability to use insulin to process sugar in the bloodstream? This is according to a study which scientists say might help explain why diabetes is on the rise. Imagine what happens to a body that is in a chronic state of sleepless nights or poor sleep!
According to The Center for Disease Control, one-third of Americans report not getting enough sleep.
This leads us to the question of ‘How much sleep is enough?”
Research suggests that you need at least 7-9 hours of sleep to give the “glymphatic system” of the brain enough time to remove/flush out the daily waste that accumulates in the brain.
While getting 7-9 hours of sleep seems to be what science says is best for your overall health; you also want to factor in getting quality sleep.
Below are some practical things you can start doing right away to improve your sleep:
- Create a bedtime that allows for seven to nine hours of sleep
- Eat a nutrient dense diet
- Stick to one sleep schedule seven days a week
- Stop caffeine by 2:00 PM (For some earlier than 2:00 PM)
- Avoid alcohol within three hours of your bedtime
- Get some sunlight in the morning (If you can’t go outside, go to a window)
- Cool your room to between 65 and 75 degrees at night
- Avoid exposure to blue light at nighttime (Stay off smart phones, laptops, etc.)
- Do a meditation practice before bed
- Consider talking to your healthcare provider about nutritional supplements that may help with sleep
- Get tested for sleep apnea
According to Dr. David Perlmutter, these simple and effective steps will help improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. Apply these to your routine and you will start seeing improvement to your sleep right away.
Your partner in health and wellness,