Priority #3

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Sleep Well

Priority #3 Sleep Well

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I love sleep… and naps even more. But, sleep is way more than just something you do when you get tired. It is actually a vital Physiological event for the body and brain to grow, regenerate, repair, sort brain storage and function, and produce hormones. All the major systems participate in this performance: Endocrine, Neurological, Muscular, Skeletal, and Immune. Quality sleep is essential for these functions to take place to wake in the morning refreshed and ready to do battle once again.

 

Unlike our Stone-age ancestors, who would have most likely turned in when the sun went down or hang out by the fire and chat, then wake when the sun rose, today’s modern human is bombarded with lights, sirens, televisions, delayed flights, and cell phones then woken up by a raging alarm clock. (Funny, common definitions of ‘Alarm’ are: anxious, fear, panic, fright ,scare. Just what you want to wake up to!)  Anyway, all of these things combine to disrupt our sleeping patterns, (intentionally or not), and we are more challenged to get to sleep let alone achieve deep, restful, regenerative sleep.

 

Here are some tips to get a more restful sleep

 

Try and stick to a schedule

Hitting the sack around the same time every night creates a consistent pattern and learned response from the mind. Reinforcing your body's sleep-wake cycle promotes better sleep at night. In addition, creating a ritual, like reading, a warm shower, and/or listening to soft music are great relaxation techniques.

 

Prepare Yourself

Shut down the mind thirty minutes before hitting the pillow. Clearing the noodle of the current days activities, setting tasks and getting organized for the next, helps to de-stress and put your mind at ease. Dimming the lights around the house sets the stage for down time.

 

Make your bedroom a place of rest, not work or entertainment

Keeping a chamber that is dark, comfortable, noise, and clutter-free creates a sense of peace when you walk into it. Watching tv or working on a laptop in bed does not set the mind up to shut down.

 

Don’t eat too late

Digestion takes a lot of energy and keeps the body up.

 

Avoid Pro-Inflammatory Foods

Yes, Grains again. Systemic Inflammation is not limited to the digestive and cardiovascular systems alone. Grains also swell respiratory tissue, including nasal, sinus, throat, and lung. Histamine is released as an allergic response this brings mucus and drainage that inhibit and block the breathing cycle causing snoring.

 

Buy comfy bed stuff

I think the whole sleep study, sleep number, perfect mattress, and contour pillow industries are all highly overrated and are more about treating the symptom rather than the cause of poor sleep. That said, finding what bedding is comfortable to you is important.

 

Watch the social use drugs

Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol all have stimulating effects, take hours to wear off, and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.