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Most of us have been told that sleep is important. But do you know WHY? When you sleep, it is the only time your body can truly repair and reboot itself. Sleep is the most important tool in your health optimization toolbox. It is not only critical to get at least 8 hours of sleep, but also essential to get deep high-quality sleep. In order to get the best sleep possible, you must do these 3 things:

 

  • Prep & Plan

  • Calm & Unwind

  • Optimize Your Sleep Environment

 

Prep & Plan

 

Like most things in life, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Lack of planning leads to a night of tossing, turning, and waking up regularly. You will also likely wake up feeling groggy, irritable and in no mood to face your day. In order to avoid an unrested morning, you must prepare your mind and body for rest the night before. 

To prepare and plan for sleep, you have to schedule it! Yep, put it on your calendar just like you would any other important appointment you wouldn’t want to be late for. Schedule for 8 hours. If you have to be up by 6 am you need to be in bed and ready for sleep at 10 pm. Be consistent with your sleep schedule, including weekends. Irregular sleep patterns can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which is the body’s internal clock. You will be well-rested if you make sleep an important part of your daily schedule.

  

Calm & Unwind

 

With so much going on in our lives, from work stress and family responsibilities to world news, it is no wonder sleep issues are so common. Before we can have restful sleep, we need to calm down and unwind our mind and body.

One hour before your scheduled bedtime, begin preparing for a great night’s sleep by:

  • Avoiding use of electronics
  • Turning off the TV
  • Avoiding stimulating conversation or reading
  • Doing light stretching or yoga
  • Meditating
  • Journaling
  • Listening to calming music
  • Using calming scents such as lavender

  

Optimize Your Sleep Environment

 

Where we sleep is just as important as how we sleep. Light and noise can hinder your sleep quality. Your brain relies on the cycle of day and night to regulate your circadian rhythm. To have restful sleep you must:

  • Have a dark environment as light promotes wakefulness. Use an eye mask or install blackout drapes in your room. Avoid nightlights in the bedroom and cover bright digital clocks.
  • Have a quiet environment. If you have a snoring partner or animals, consider using ear plugs or noise masking devices such as Bose Sleep Buds.
  • Have a cool environment as your core body temperature slightly rises during your first phase of the sleep cycle. Being too hot will cause you to wake and disrupt your sleep. Keep the room temperature at 68 degrees and consider using chiliPAD or other cooling device if you suffer from hot flashes at night.

If you’re still having trouble sleeping, our Chief Wellness Officer, Pam Jacobson, recommends 3mg of a high quality sustained release melatonin about 20-30 minutes before bed. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate the body’s sleep and wake cycle. 

The quality of your sleep tonight depends on the decisions you make today. Plan to sleep well by putting it on your schedule, winding down before you go to bed, and making sure your sleep environment is optimized for a good night’s sleep. Rest well…be well.


For more information, contact info@leveltenhealth.com