Getting a good night’s sleep is more than just a feel good luxury; it is essential to good health, job performance and wellness. Studies show that a minimum of eight or nine hours sleep per night is optimum for most adults while children require at least nine hours, toddlers and infants require even more. Inadequate sleep not only effects how well you feel and perform during the day, but can perpetuate muscle pain, contribute to obesity, lead to cardiovascular problems and accelerate aging. Are you getting the sleep you need on a regular basis to maintain your best health and to have the highest quality life?
For many people, lack of enough sleep is a lifestyle choice. Some people believe that five or six hours of sleep a night are plenty, but studies show this simply is not true. Television, internet, and chaotic schedules are just a few of the things that keep people awake. Stress can also play a large factor in reducing the quality of sleep. A well rested body is able to looks its best, feel its best and perform its best. When you awake each morning without the assistance of an alarm clock and feel rested and refreshed, you are getting the right amount of sleep.
Here are a few tips to help you get a better sleep so you can be at your best:
- Good nutrition. Good nutrition is essential to healthy sleep. High fat diets can disrupt your natural body clock.
- Exercise. Go for a walk. Light exercise about four hours before going to bed will help your body unwind, reduces your heart rate and blood pressure. Light exercise is a great stress reducer.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Everyone knows to avoid caffeine in the evenings, but alcohol also disrupts sleep. Limit your consumption to just one glass of your favorite wine or beer with dinner and stick to water after that.
- Turn off the TV, computer and games at least two hours before bed. These distractions interfere with your ability to relax and de-stress. Develop a new habit of turning on peaceful and relaxing music that calms and uplifts you.
- Make your bedroom your sanctuary. Be sure your bedroom is free of clutter, work, excessive books and electronic devices. Be sure you have a window that is partially open for some fresh air. If your bedding and furnishings are not already natural, organic and healthy, replace these pieces as you can with the healthiest choices available. This is where you heal and rejuvenate yourself, so if you invest anywhere in your home, invest in your bedroom first.
- Develop a nightly ritual. Find a routine that fits you personally. For some it might include a cup of herbal tea, the lighting of a candle and a soak in a warm tub. Some prefer a shower or simply the nightly routine of face washing and tooth brushing. Just be sure to make it a routine that you enjoy and will make a part of your day to day life.
- Go to bed at the same each night. Do your best to go to bed at the same time each night and even if you get off track, get up at the same time every day. Create a healthy habit that your body and mind can count on.
- Add lavender to your nightly routine. Lavender can help you de-stress, relax and improve your overall feeling of well-being. Try adding a little pure organic essential oil to your bath or make a spray for your linens. Guys, don’t just leave this for the ladies, a little aromatherapy is great for everyone!
- Keep a journal. Take the time to spend a few minutes reviewing your day. A journal is an excellent way to both release thoughts about the day and to make plans for tomorrow. This is a perfect time for reviewing your goals, writing affirmations and giving thanks.
In this modern day, a sound sleep is essential to your well being and your ability to thrive in your daily activities both in business and in fun. I hope you take the time to make getting a good night sleep for your best health a priority beginning today.
Image by Josie
November 1, 2008 at 8:32 am
Nikki – You just exploited many of my bad habits, which I am working on. The lavender is a must and one I do practice. I love a relaxing bath with lavender. A perfect way to end the day.
November 1, 2008 at 8:58 am
Nicki, there is so much being published today on the necessity of sleep for a healthy life. I definitely get 8 hours per night but my problem is I fall asleep with the TV on as does my husband. Yikes….
I guess I should use that auto sleep button to turn it off.
November 1, 2008 at 9:31 pm
This is a post I’ll read repeatedly. I need to remind myself of all of these great habits. Thanks for the push.
November 2, 2008 at 8:23 am
You are so right. I have bouts of insomnia and sometimes end up going 4 or 5 days on three hours a sleep a night. Doesn’t bother me the first couple of nights but after that things really go down hill.
November 2, 2008 at 9:31 am
Incredible that something so basic could be neglected without the thoughtfulness you have brought to the topic. The worst part of sleep loss is that it is insidious and is not recognized until you’re snapping at people or dozing when you need to be paying attention.
Thanks for the well structured reminder and suggestions.
November 2, 2008 at 4:05 pm
I’m glad I came across your post. I am a workaholic and would sometimes worked for 18 hours a day. And sometimes when I do want to sleep, I can’t. Now I know what I should do. Anyway I need to change my work habits and try to get more sleep. Thank you very much for the info.
November 3, 2008 at 9:07 am
There’s nothing more refreshing than waking up in the morning after a great night of sleep. I love using Lavender, I put a couple drops of essential oil on my pillow. It really works.
I will definitely be putting your other suggestions into practise too. Thanks.
November 3, 2008 at 12:56 pm
Great ideas here. Thank you.
February 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm
Lack of sleep and stress create a cycle that can be hard to break. Stress leads to less sleep which in turn increases stress making the sleep problem even worse…and around and around you go. This list has some great suggestions for breaking the cycle. I wholeheartedly recommend them all.