Do you find yourself nodding off in the middle of a meeting? What about skipping the gym because you just can’t get up the energy to workout? Are you feeling extra irritable and snappy? If this sounds like you, you may be lacking sleep. People will go to great measures to make sure they have a well-structured exercise program and the perfect nutrition and supplement plan. Even the best plans often leave out one important factor- sleep. Getting enough sleep is essential for optimal health and overall well-being. When we are sleeping our bodies are working hard to restore energy and repair body cells. Our bodies are also working to clear waste from the central nervous system which allows for better memory and brain function. While each individual's sleep requirements may vary, the CDC recommends that school-aged children get a minimum of 9 hours of sleep and adults get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. It is important to also keep in mind that it is not just the quantity of sleep that matters, quality is equally important. What happens when we don’t get enough quality sleep?
Poor memory and concentration
Poor motor function
High blood pressure
Increased risk of diabetes and heart disease
Increased cortisol (stress hormone)
Anxiety and depression
What are some of the benefits of proper sleep?
Improved Concentration and productivity
Improved emotional wellbeing
Improved athletic performance
Lower risk of heart disease
Decrease risk of depression
Stronger immune system
We understand that sleep is important but many of us struggle to catch enough zzz’s. Here are a few healthy sleep habits that you can take to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep.
Try these habits for better sleep
Stick to a sleep and wake schedule with at least 7 hours of sleep time
Create a bedtime routine and keep it
Turn off your phone!
Make your room as dark as possible
Keep your room at an ideal sleep temperature (about 67 degrees)
Limit caffeine intake after 2 pm or earlier if you are more sensitive
Limit fluids before bed
Avoid activities that get you amped up one hour before bed
Relax and clear your mind- try journal writing if you have trouble quieting your mind
Increase daylight exposure- try getting outside for a daytime walk if you are inside most of the day
Make exercise and movement part of your day
Decrease blue light exposure from tablets, phones, and computers
Now that you know the importance and benefits of quality sleep, start incorporating some of these healthy sleep habits into your routine. This should help you improve the amount of time you are sleeping as well as the quality of that sleep leading to better overall health and well-being. If you need individual help with setting up good bedtime habits feel free to contact us for individual coaching.