Sleep is an early indicator of Health or Dis-Ease
You need it for Energy, Weight loss and Mental Focus. Quality as well as Quantity matter for balanced wellness.
Early Wellness or Warning
Life offers up reasons for occasional sleep loss or sleep excess; some positive, some not. When sleep loss or excess is chronic, your body is letting you know that something is out of balance that requires immediate attention. A SAD (Standard American Diet) full of processed foods and stress pushes sugar levels up, and not enough sleep impacts hormones controlling appetite, mood, sexual function, and mental focus.
When You Don’t Get Enough
Sleep loss is a symptom of high sugar consumption and stress, but chronic sleep loss also adds to elevated sugar levels – creating a vicious cycle. Chronic sleep loss disrupts your endocrine system and hormone function. Hormones are messengers that control organ and cell functions throughout the body. When sleep is regularly poor, every part of your body pays a price; immune, mood/depression/irritability, fatigued focus, high blood pressure, reduced sexual function, weakened muscles. Over time, this dynamic increases risk of heart attack, diabetes, stroke, and every sugar-stress related disease.
Habits that Impact Sleep
Eating a clean, whole food diet positively impacts your ability to sleep. This act alone goes a lot way to improving hormone function, lowering stress, and setting you up for sleep success. Paying REGULAR attention to self-care in short intervals every day PLAYS A KEY ROLE. Minimal daily exercise, 10-20 min walk, helps increase the hormone serotonin to boost mood and promote sleep.
Routines that Promote Sleep
Routine and discipline help when it comes to sleep. Make brain resting instead of brain activating pre-sleep choices; turn off electronics (phone/tv) 1-1/2 hour before sleep, take a bath, meditate, listen to natural sounds (music), drink sleepy time or chamomile tea at night but avoid drinking fluids close to bedtime, make sure your bed/bedding suits you, and use your natural clock as much as possible.
When Help is Needed
Several natural remedies are available that are non-addictive and, if taken as suggested, tend to pass through the body without side effects. I can help you identify some good choices. I urge my clients to stay away from pharmaceuticals whenever possible as the opposite is usually true of them. If you’re taking prescription sleeping pills though, don’t stop cold turkey. Work with your physician to help diminish, then straighten out your diet, then reassess. You may find out you don’t need any help after that.
Here’s a List of 14 Things You Can Do To Get the Deep Sleep You Deserve
- Clean, healthy, whole food diet free of processed sugars, added hormones and anti-biotics.
- Drink lots of water during the day to keep my system flushed and well hydrated.
- Cultivate and maintain a positive attitude.
- Regular brain breaks to improve efficient thinking while reducing stress load; about 15 minutes of every hour for optimum performance. Do everything you need to do to reduce stress often, and if necessary with coaching support or professional help.
- Eat at least 50% plant-based diet to keep your endocrine system at top performance.
- Turn off all electronics 1-1/2 to 2 hours before bedtime. And don’t keep your cell phone next to your bed if you don’t have to.
- Drink calming herbal teas at night (Chamomile/SleepyTime), but don’t drink too much in the way of liquids right before bed.
- Best not to eat large meals generally. This is especially important to avoid right before bed.
- Listen to soothing, quiet music; natural sounds, meditative wind chimes, thunder storms, the ocean.
- Take a hot bath with Epson Salts, Lavender bath salts or other pleasing fragrance.
- Try Lavendar Oil: Rub 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your cupped palms, then inhale to draw the scent well into your bodymind. Rub some on the feet, temples, wrists to promote calm.
- Make sure your bed and bedding suits your needs. Investing in a good bed and bedding is one of your best long-term health expenditures.
- Try to sleep and awake naturally, using your natural rhythms rather than an alarm.
- Get help to switch to a natural sleep aid instead of pharmaceuticals. I like to use NightKap, available online. Or work to gradually eliminate prescription pills, clean your diet, follow all of the suggestions above, and reassess your need.