Did you know that sleep is one of the three pillars of Ayurveda? Along with eating and sex, sleep is considered one of the most important aspects of health and wellbeing.
Many scientific studies have shown that good, consistent sleep is vital to overall health and wellbeing. If you’re not sleeping well, eventually it will take a toll on your body and you will begin to manifest disease.
Today, let’s look at some of the main reasons people in the 21st century aren’t getting enough quality sleep, and what you can do to improve your chances of getting a great night’s rest.
Blame it on Technology Habits
These days, we have a lot of exciting technology around us all the time: advanced computers, smart phones and more television programming available 24 hours a day than you could imagine! If you are having trouble going to sleep or falling asleep, taking a look at your technology usage (particularly at night) is very important.
Does your phone tweet, bing, dingle or twinkle at you while you’re trying to sleep? Do you stare at a blue screen within several hours of hitting the pillow? These two habits alone can make a huge difference in your ability to go to sleep and stay asleep.
Make sure to avoid using screens a couple hours before bed, and turn your phone to silent before you go to sleep to avoid being woken up by email dings.
Blame it on Time Zone Changes
If you travel to multiple time zones during the week, you may have difficulty falling into a restful sleep pattern. For instance, if you’re on the East Coast for the first part of the week, then the central part of the country, and finally on the West Coast – well, that can be a big problem!
You may not be able to correct the fact that you have to travel, but you can do things to help you sleep better.
The cells in the body work on a 24-hour clock. Naturally, we’re programmed to be awake when it’s light out and asleep when it’s dark out. If you are traveling to multiple time zones, you must immediately adjust to the time zone in which you will be sleeping that night.
For instance, if you live on the West Coast and you’re visiting the East Coast, the clock will read 6 pm ET when your body thinks it’s 3 pm PT. Fall in line with the reading on the clock. Make your routine as regular as possible for the new time zone. If you normally eat dinner at 6 pm PT, eat it at 6 pm in whatever time zone you’ll be sleeping.
Your body will synch up and within a day or a day and a half it will adjust to that zone. It can be challenging, depending on your schedule, but it’s not impossible.
Blame it on the Alcohol Consumption
Many people use alcohol to try and fall asleep. It’s true that alcohol has a sedative quality that makes you fall asleep more easily, but studies have shown that drinking before bed interrupts sleep patterns significantly. With alcohol in your blood stream, you’ll wake up in the moments when your sleep cycle is changing.
This is exactly why people wake up after a night of drinking – even if they get a nice long sleep – still feeling groggy.
The Best Sleep Habits
To get the best night’s rest, try this routine about two hours before bedtime: turn off all electronics, dim the lights in the bedroom and listen to some relaxing music. Take a nice hot shower or bath and maybe even diffuse a little bit of lavender essential oil.
The most important thing you can do to help you get better sleep is create healthy habits that promote relaxation and address the root causes of insomnia, if any.
Would you like to connect with me one-on-one to find personalized ways of getting better sleep? Click HERE [Contact Page] to set up a time to speak with me privately. I work with clients to help them reach their greatest health potential, naturally and healthfully.
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Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect Sin título