Think that missing a few z’s at night isn’t all that important? Think again!
Lack of sleep and sleep loss impacts your health in ways that may surprise you.
Here are just a few symptoms of sleep loss to consider:
– Inability to process complex thinking
– Overall cognitive dysfunction
– Weight gain/inability to lose weight
– Compromised immune system
– Increased anxiety/irritability
– Increased risk of accidents
– Rapid aging
– Impaired judgment/decision making
– Depression/emotional issues
– Pain/poor ability to heal
– Increased worry/fear
– Hormonal imbalance
– Digestion dysfunction
– Adrenal fatigue
– Slowed reaction time
– Impaired motor skills
Do any of these sound familiar? Maybe more so than you’d like? Then take action! Make sure that getting a good night’s sleep is a priority for you. Work with a professional naturopath, if necessary, to get your adrenal system back in gear so that your hormones and thyroid work properly.
If working with a pro isn’t within your financial or time budget right now, don’t fret. There are still plenty of things you can do on your own to encourage a good night’s sleep. Daily exercise is a power hitter when it comes to helping you to fall — and stay — asleep at night. Exercise enhances oxygenation of the body, works as a stress-reliever, and as a great detoxifier. Triple duty! And, it helps to keep you on track with your hydration goals. Getting back to basics is always a good idea — drink water and move your body!
Also, be sure to plan for a good night’s sleep. I’m talking about “sleep hygiene” (the habits and rituals a person follows to ensure a good night’s sleep). As we’re each different, so are our sleep hygiene habits.
Your fundamental sleep hygiene routine may include —
– relaxation methods before bed
– consistent bedtimes (and waking times)
– consistent room temperature (not too warm)
– comfortable sleep attire
– setting standard room darkness levels
Sleep is often an under-appreciated (although a crucial) self-care item. Not surprisingly, regular, consistent sleep is the result of regular, consistent self-care practices.
This is important to consider: Your body re-builds as it sleeps. It regenerates at the cellular level. The body’s systems are restored and revitalized when it achieves the deep sleep that it craves.
So – do you treat sleep as if it’s important? Do you plan for sleep each day by respecting a regular bedtime? Do you prioritize your life in such a way that you have a solid sleep routine before bed? For some that could mean a warm bath, stretching, classical music, reading, etc. – anything that you find soothing.
WARNING: Watching TV is not a soothing, healthy bedtime ritual. Whether it is or isn’t a violent program, the mind engages in TV images. The mind goes to work on problem-solving – even simple problems such as ones found in commercials like how to get stains out of your kid’s clothes or how to finance that luxury car of your dreams.
Have you thought about your own sleep hygiene methods? Are there lifestyle changes you could make to encourage better sleep? Plan for those changes now and be sure to share your ideas in the comments below!