After getting to the other side of about two weeks of sleep deprivation from jetlag, more cross-country travel, late nights / early mornings, getting off my routine, and WAY too much on my mind, I am finally finding myself clear headed again. (Now I know all you parents out there are laughing at me and thinking, “You have no idea what chronic sleep deprivation really is” but I got a glimpse of it and don’t know how you new mommies and daddies do it!)
I forgot how important sleep is until I was not getting any. Sleep deprivation messes with our brain and endocrine system causing things like weight gain, lowered immune system, challenges with memory/focus, energy levels, bad moods, increased sugar cravings and all in all just not feeling like ourselves.
My vlog / blog this week is to remind you of the importance of rest and give you tips for getting better sleep. It’s a myth that you can “catch up” on sleep over the weekend or by sleeping 10 hours one night. Only consistent and quality sleep renews and recharges your body in an optimal way.
Here are my top tips for getting better sleep:
- Have a regular bedtime and wake up time. It worked when you were three years old to keep you in a good mood and it is just as important today. Getting your body in a sleep routine will regulate your hormones making it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling rested.
- Sleep in a completely dark room. Turn off any lights from TVs, computers, etc. Get black out curtains if you can. Having any kind of light triggers cortisol release in your brain, which negatively impacts your ability to sleep deeply. Get an eye mask if a dark room is not possible.
- Journal or do release writing before bed. If your mind is spinning, “mind-dump” on paper you can just throw away. Write in a stream-of-consciousness way and just get everything out of your head.
- Engage in a calming ritual before bed. Doing some kind of meditation or gratitude practice will soothe your soul and calm your nervous system down.
- Ban technology at least an hour before bed. I have a “no screen” rule for two hours before bed meaning I don’t watch TV, work on my computer, or look at my phone. The electromagnetic waves from any of those devices trigger the parts of your brain that keep you awake.
- No food and reduced liquids at least two hours before sleeping. Digestion takes a lot of energy making it harder to rest. Plus eating late puts on extra weight.
- Wake up naturally or get a soothing, gentle alarm clock. I use the song “So much magnificence” to gently awaken me each morning – no loud beeping alarm clocks!
Please don’t sacrifice sleep if you do not have to (new parents I realize this may not apply but I still encourage you to find ways to get rest by asking or even paying for help). Working late and skipping out on sleep makes you less productive because you are not functioning at your optimal level. Sleep is an investment in your overall health and well-being so stop making excuses for why you are not getting as much as you need.
Do you want to live a VITAL life or a tired life? If vital is your answer, then get your quality and consistent zzzzzz’s! @ChristinHassler (Click to Tweet!)
P.S. I have a new podcast where I coach people LIVE on the air. Head over to Over it and On With It and listen in for inspiration and action steps.
Christine Hassler has broken down the complex and overwhelming experience of recovering from disappointment into a step-by-step treatment plan in her new book Expectation Hangover. This book reveals the formula for how to process disappointment on the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual levels to immediately ease suffering. Instead of wallowing in regret, self-recrimination, or anger, we can see these experiences as catalysts for profound transformation and doorways that open to possibility. You can find more info on her website, and follow her on Twitter and FB.
Image courtesy of Free-Photos.