Wohoo!! I just got back from a week long vacation with some kayaking, hotsprings and beach combing in Tofino, BC. My husband and I had a fantastic time relaxing and getting a little play time away to recover from the daily grind, and now I FEEL ENERGIZED!
While most of us can't take a vacation every month, there is something that we do daily that if done well, can give us a similar Re-Boot or Recovery. It's called QUALITY SLEEP.
By now I think most of us understand why sleep is very important, but if you're still not convinced, here's a few more examples of what can happen if you're not getting enough good z's. If you're having trouble recovering from your workouts, if you always wake up in a fog and feel like you can't think clearly for a good portion of the morning or before that 2nd cup of coffee, or if you've been doing everything right in your health journey as far as diet and exercise and you STILL haven't been able to release the weight..All these issues and more can certainly be related to not getting enough quality sleep.
Do you wake up every morning feeling energized and excited to tackle the day?
If so, that is fantastic. You are probably getting some real quality sleep and may not need to read further. If not, then I'd like to share a few tips below that could help.
1. REDUCE Blue Light Exposure before bed
Blue light inhibits melatonin production. melatonin is a hormone that helps us go to sleep. Sunlight is the main source of blue light, but flat-screen tvs, computer screens, smartphones and other digital devices emit significant amounts of blue light. By limiting use of these items a couple hours before bed, you can greatly increase your bodies melatonin production. Some of you may be saying, yeah right! Easier said than done.. Fret not, another useful tool is to wear "Blue Light Blocking Glasses" 2 hours before bed. These can be found on amazon, and It REALLY works!
2. INCREASE your Blue Light exposure when you wake up.
On the flip side, we want more blue light exposure in the morning to help shut off/reduce melatonin production and regulate our circadian rhythm — i.e. it helps to wake us up for the day ahead. You can help increase your blue light exposure in the morning, or throughout the day with the Philips GOlite Blu which can be found on Amazon etc.
3. Caffeine - Hit it and Quit it!
Numerous studies show that too much coffee consumption and drinking it TOO LATE in the day have a tremendous effect on our circadian rhythms, making it hard for people to fall asleep at night. I'm not suggesting that you have to quit altogether. Instead, try being done with your last caffeinated drink by noon or 1:00 and see what a difference that makes in being able to fall asleep and stay asleep.
4. Bedroom temperature- Keep it cool
Our body temperature tends to go up and down a little during the day. Body temperature starts to fall as bedtime approaches, paving the way for a good night’s sleep. For a restful, uninterrupted sleep, your body should be anywhere from 65-72 degrees Fahrenheit, preferably on the cooler side. If your body heats up too much during the night, you won’t be able to sleep well and it might even wake you up. Adjust the temperature in your bedroom to the cooler side, around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Your temperature will start to rise toward morning, preparing your body for wakefulness.