Posts tagged ‘sleep’
In celebration of health and nutrition, what’s ONE small change you can make to your life to be healthier? Whether it involves nutrition, physical activity, or something more spiritual in nature, why not take one step towards healthier, happier living.
*Try a new exercise class, like yoga or dance
*Take a 15 minute walk in the morning, or when you get home from work (That’s mine!)
*Go to the supermarket and try one fruit or vegetable you’ve never had
*Get cookin’–try a new recipe, perhaps with the ingredient above
*Take a visit to your local farmer’s market and see what’s in season.
*Get more sleep! Try turning in for the night 15-30 minutes earlier.
*Meditate or sit in quiet for 15 minutes each day.
Whatever you choose to do, it doesn’t have to–and shouldn’t–be big. Just one small step!
Here’s to your good health!
Sleep has been on my mind lately. A lot. Our 3 month old puppy (see above) was having some very early morning anxiety in our bedroom (think 4am!) over the span of the past 2 weeks. This left my husband and me VERY tired an very grumpy. Fortunately, thanks to my incredible dog trainer, Jenny at Give Paw Dog Training (seriously, if you live in NY and need a dog trainer, Jenny is the best around!) we were able to set Gola up in the living room and got 7 uninterrupted hours of sleep last night. So. Good.
My lack of ZZZZZ’s coupled with my mom’s recent newsletter got me to thinking about how important it is to set yourself up for success when it comes to sleep. Here is a list of some things I do, coupled with tips from my mom (Acupuncturist, holistic health coach and mindset expert):
1. Don’t eat too close to bedtime. This has nothing to do with eating calories at night, but more to do with the fact that when I eat too close to going to sleep, I wake up feeling sluggish with a heavy feeling in my stomach. Plus, I hate the thought that my food is being digested slower when I sleep. Breakfast (Break-fast) is so much more enjoyable when I’m hungry.
2. Try some lavendar oil on your pillow. A received this piece of advice last year and I haven’t missed a day yet of rubbing a drop of pure lavendar oil on the corner of my pillow. I usually moisterize with a lavendar lotion before bed, too, to get a double dose. Matt thinks I smell like celery. I beg to differ, however.
3. Dark, Dark, Dark. There is nothing more annoying than having the bright LED display of your alarm clock smack in your face. We sleep better in pitch black. I turn my alarm away so the numbers face away from me.
4. Try a supplement: Ashawagandha is one of my favorite herbs for stress. What’s incredible is that when taken in the morning, it gently wakes you up and eases stress, and when taken at night, it helps you wind down. I sleep so much better when I’ve taken ashawagandha. Some others to try, per my mom: Magnesium, which is a known muscle relaxer. Melatonin helps regulate sleep/awake cycles. And valerian, passionflower, and chamomile tea are time-tested traditional aids for rest.
5. Create a pre-sleep ritual. Whatever you can do to get relaxed, do it. Banning the “buzz” as I like to call it–TV, computers, cell phones–one hour before bed will let your body relax naturally. The glare from computer screens can actually trick your mind and eyes into thinking it’s day time. So shut it off! My pre-bed ritual consists of taking a bath, giving my puppy some love, and then getting into bed to read for about 20-30 minutes. I really look forward each evening for such precious “ME” time, and Matt knows not to disturb me! This would also be a great time for some journaling (or meditation), to reflect on the day, and to jot down concerns for the day to come so you are clear-headed when drifting off to sleep.
Those work for me…what works for you??
I can’t tell you HOW thrilled I am that this week is over. I had a HUGE anatomy exam last night, and I had been studying for that sucker for over a week. Every day, for over a week. That’s all I did (besides go to work, go to the gym, and eat). So something had to suffer at the expense of my studying, and above all else, that something was sleep (precious sleep!)
I’m one of those people who needs at least 8 hours of sleep each night. I’ve never even pulled an all-nighter in college because I of the mess I’d be in the next day. Unfortunately, since I’ve started Graduate school (for Clinical Nutrition), I have not been getting those much needed 8 hours. I’ve been going to bed later than ever (11-11:30 pm, sometimes midnight!) and I’m up at around 6am each morning. Day after day, it’s really taken it’s toll. I’m slower, I feel stupider (see what I mean?), and I’m just so dang tired all the time. Oh, yeah, and I noticed my balance is off and I’ve been bumping into a LOT of walls, I kid you not!
Luckily, my exam was last night and I went to bed at 9:57 pm and woke up at 6:30am. Now that’s more like it! I feel like ME again!
I’m sure that most of us don’t get enough sleep as we’d like. We do have responsibilities, like getting up for work or going to the gym or taking care of our children. I know we’re not alone, because I see so many people passed out on the subway both in the morning and at night. Sadly, I was one of those people this week (I told Matt that I felt like the homeless people who use subway seats as their bed).
Anyway, now that I’ve caught up on sleep and feel a little bit more like me and less like a homeless person, I can truly say: GET SLEEP! Any way you can! If you’re not getting enough, and you are always exhausted, you need make a commitment to yourself to squeeze in some Z’s. Naps on the weekend. Getting to bed a little earlier. That’s why God created DVRs and IPhones–so we can watch our TV elsewhere! I can honestly say from experience that you’re probably no good to anyone, most of all yourself, if you’re exhausted all the time.
More importantly, according to Dr. Andrew Weil, new research suggests that getting a good night’s sleep improves relationship satisfaction and outlook the next day. Listen, if more sleep = more lovin’, well, heck, sign me up.
I urge you to take care of yourself! With the flu running rampant, you need your immune system in tip top shape. And besides a healthy diet and exercise, SLEEP is the best medicine you can give your body.
I’m looking forward to LOTS of napping this weekend…and maybe a little lovin’ (‘ello ‘ello)