I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about sleep lately. The month of February took quite the toll on my sleep schedule, and as a result everything else just felt a little wonky. My focus was off, my eating habits were challenged (all I wanted was sugar to give me that energy boost I wasn’t getting from sleep) and I was distracted. It was time for a change.
It’s been proven, time and time again, just how important getting a good night sleep is, so I decided to take a deeper dive to try and help myself get past the sleep hump I was going through.
First off, other than the obvious reason of rest, why is sleep important?
- Our internal organs rest and recover. Tissue repair, muscle growth and protein synthesis occurs primarily while you sleep.
- The hormones that help to regulate stress, appetite control and metabolism are released during sleep.
- Memory consolidation occurs which allows the formation of new memories. This is essential to learning new information.
These are just some of the many reasons why sleep is important for our wellbeing. With the importance of sleep now illustrates, its important to mention that not all sleep is created equal. Going to sleep and restful sleep are two different things.
So- What can we do to improve our quality sleep?
- Clean out the clutter! When you have lots of clutter in your bedroom, you’ll tend to feel the energy of the clutter in the form of stress. You’ll notice that your sleep feels less restful when you’re not surrounded by a clean space. Removing all unnecessary papers, supplies and clutter makes your bedroom more of a sanctuary and less of a storing ground.
- Remove all electronics from your room! These devices emit artificial “blue light” that can affect your body’s production of melatonin and in turn your quality of sleep. I know what you’re thinking “I need my phone! It wakes me up” Well I’m still working on that one too, but it’s time to switch out the phone for an alarm clock. Try to get one with very dim settings or an old fashion non-digital version (yes, they still exist!)
- Reduce your exposure to light and sound. Minimizing distracting noises, and light will contribute to a more restful and uninterrupted night of sleep.
If you’re feeling tired and out of sorts, try one, or all of the sleep tips to get back on the right track. You don’t have to take it all on at once, start small and slowly implement changes. As you start to feel the difference, you’ll be able to make more and then all of the changes needed.