How many hours a night are you sleeping?
Is it restful or interrupted?
Are you tired the next day?
Good quality sleep has immediate power to improve our lives in every waking moment. However, all too often getting good quality and quantity of sleep is low down on our list of priorities. This is the time when your body does its housework, its repair jobs, replacing and updating. So, what if we started treating sleep as essential to our well-being and where do we start?
Here are a few MORE nuggets to get you on the road to better zzzzzzzzzz.
1. Get outdoors
Good sleep starts from the moment you wake up. Sleep is determined by what we do when we’re awake and the environment we sleep in. Getting outdoors during the day helps your body know its time to secrete those daytime hormones. This helps your body-clock regulate, so it knows when to secrete the sleepy hormones.
Get off the bus two stops earlier and walk the rest of the way to work in the morning. Head for a brisk walk at lunch-time or a 30 minute jog after work. If possible try to get time outdoors earlier in the day as this helps set the wheels in motion for your body clock to be on track.
Bottom line: Go outdoors and get some sunlight.
2. Free Your Feet
Walking barefoot, also known as “earthing”, or “grounding”, has gone from being a quirky trend, to a scientifically-researched practice. And while this may seem like a “new” trend, don’t forget that in evolutionary terms, walking in rubber soled shoes has only happened in the last few “seconds” of our time on the planet.
Research is finding several health advantages in walking barefoot, such as increasing antioxidants, reducing inflammation and improving sleep. Grounding has also been seen to benefit skin conductivity, reduce stress and boost immunity.
Read more on this topic in a previous post!
3. Curfew The Cork
Good sleep is not only about sleeping more, the quality of your sleep makes all the difference. And alcohol can have a significant impact on your sleep quality.
Alcohol can help you to fall asleep faster … Ok, yes, buuuut … the impact alcohol has on your sleep quality can be pretty unfavourable. When drinking and going to sleep shortly after, your deep sleep stage is suppressed early in the night. This messes up all the good stuff that happens in this deep sleep stage.
Solution = timing
If you choose to have a drink, consider giving yourself an alcohol curfew. Ideally having your last sip at least two hours before bed.
4. Keep Work Out of the Bedroom
Bringing your tax returns, your work emails, or study books into your bedroom and bed is not ideal and will not send you into peaceful zzzzzz. It is likely to be at the very least quite stimulating and possibly even stressful for you. Stress = poor quality sleep. Building an association between deep, restful sleep and your bed is the way to go.
If you need to work from home, set up at specific place to do that work from (which is as far away as possible from your tranquil, peaceful bedroom … ).
If you tend to brew over things from work before sleep, keep a notebook by your bedside and write down anything that is bothering you. Write down questions that you would like answers to, rather than googling stuff at close to midnight …
If you can’t switch your mind off from a difficult interaction with your boss/colleague, write down whatever it is you wish to communicate to this person.
5. Keep It Dark
Have your bedroom as dark as possible during the night. During daylight hours, melatonin (sleepy hormone) production is minimal. When night falls, however, and the light level plummets, the absence of light induces changes that cause melatonin production to increase dramatically. Unnatural light at night messes with your natural sleep-wake hormone patterns.
I personally have a streetlight right outside my bedroom window, so to minimise the glare from this as much as possible I have invested in a blackout blind.
Read more on some of the science.
I regularly ask my clients about the quality of their sleep, particularly if they are putting up with a chronic concern or issue. This is the time when your body does its housework, its repair jobs, replacing and updating. The latest research is even telling us that sleep loss heightens pain sensitivity and dulls your brain’s pain-killing response. If you have an ongoing chronic issue, make sleep a priority. Deep restorative sleep is a smart choice … plus it’s FREE!
If you have been putting up with an on-going issue or concern, gentle hands-on care at Natural Back Health may be suitable for you. I am happy to have a chat with you on the phone to discuss what kind of care is suitable for your concern prior to your first visit. If you have any further questions regarding this topic please do not hesitate to contact the clinic here or on 087 1815007.
Read more about what to expect from my treatments
Hopefully you find the general information in this article informative and helpful, however it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.