We don’t get enough sleep.
“Sleep is the golden chain that binds health and our bodies together.” – Thomas Dekker
In 1910, the average person slept nine hours a night. Nowadays Americans can only muster 6.8 hours of sleep a night. So, what does this mean? We don’t get enough sleep. PERIOD. This lack of sleep not only affects our emotional and mental health, but also puts us more at risk of suffering from obesity. Sleep deprivation may also strain our relationships and impair our ability to focus, resulting in a cycle of progressively declining health.
So, what can we do about it? We can start by asking some questions.
What Am I Eating?
Eating many carbs before bed can flood our body with glucose and cause restless sleep. Instead, try eating a handful of nuts before bed. With a better balance of slower digesting proteins and fats, they may lead to more calming sleep.
When Do I Excercise?
While we certainly shouldn’t be limiting exercise, is timing an issue? Exercising too close to bedtime can spark our metabolism and bring up our body temperature. If we can’t adjust our schedule to fit exercise into the morning or afternoon, make an effort to workout at least three to four hours before bed, allowing the body to calm down enough before bedtime.
Have I Established a Daily Routine?
Our bodies love rhythm and routines. Based on our routines, our bodies establish an “internal clock,” a circadian rhythm. Establishing regular habits, including a bedtime routine, will help us get to sleep (and stay asleep) much better.
Do Electronics Follow Me to Bed?
Light stimulates us all day, so we need to counteract that with darkness at night. Darkness is ideal for sleep because it tells our bodies to begin producing melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep.
What Is My Sleep Environment Like?
It is important to take the time to find the right temperature, shut out the light, fluff our pillows, and even diffuse an essential oil or two so that when we are ready, we will be able to welcome restful sleep that will stay the whole night!
Above all else, remember that we are the only person who can take care of our body properly!