Are you missing sleep?
That mythical thing called sleep! How does it look like in your life? How much are you really sleeping each night?
If the above questions cause you to pause in thought and remember times when sleep was a luxury, keep reading! We want to talk to you about that wonderful thing and how you can get more of it in YOUR life!
First thing's first, think truthfully about how much sleep per night you are averaging. Then think about the quality of sleep you are averaging. If these two thoughts are not leaving you peacefully sleeping at night, you need to look at changing things in your life to improve your sleep!
Why is sleep so darn important, anyway? Like water, our bodies can't survive without it! Processes in our bodies are to tightly reliant on sleep, that when you are sleep deprived you are not only risking feeling tired the next day, you are literally compromising your immune system! Yes, that means if you do not sleep well on a regular basis, you are leaving your body's defense system more open to attack!
With the current state of how many colds we have passed around in my house this year, this does NOT sound like a good thing!! Thankfully, this is not a permanent thing for most people! You CAN fix this and get yourself feeling better! Here are some tips you can try to get a better night's sleep:
1. Let's start with bedtime. How does that look for you? How does electronics and lights look around your bedtime routine? Studies have shown that people with dark rooms, a cooler temperature, and reduced electronic use the hour before bed fall asleep faster and easier. So turn off that light, turn down the temp, and maybe read a book in the living room (not bedroom) before bed.
2. How is your bed and blankets? Think back, when was the last time you bought a new mattress? If you are grabbing the calculator, maybe it is time to think about replacing the 20 year old mattress! New mattresses allow you to try before you buy, create different softness for each side, and even allow different positioning for each side. Blankets as well have made some strides. Some people respond well to a slightly weighted blanket, and some couples even have separate blankets to reduce nighttime blanket hogging!
3. How is the quality of your sleep? Are you getting up frequently to use the restroom? Are you loudly snoring? Are you a light sleeper waking up to the slightest sound? If you are getting up to use the restroom, try restricting your liquid intake a few hours before bed. If this issue continues, consider talking to your doctor about it. Same goes for snoring. If you are loudly snoring, talk to your doctor and rule out the possibility of sleep apnea or other health issues associated with snoring. Light sleeper? Consider the use of a while noise machine. The constant sound of white noise may give your ears and mind just what it needs to rest.
4. Does your mind have a hard time shutting off? Sometimes it seems we just can't stop thinking. Your body is ready to sleep but your mind is too busy thinking about the day and what you will be doing tomorrow. Help your mind achieve a more rest ready state with some simple deep breathing and meditation. New to meditation? Try a simple guided meditation though an app or downloaded to your device, just make sure you dim your screen and consider some headphones. There are a plethora of sources to help you achieve nirvana in no time! Also, think about your caffeine intake. A nice cup of hot, herbal tea can also relax your body and mind before bed.
Sleep can be a complicated thing. Don't feel as if you aren't alone in this pursuit of ultimate rejuvenation! Try the above techniques, chat with your primary care provider, and if needed, seek out a sleep specialist! Because you trust your fitness with us, we want you to have the best opportunities to rest and recover your body!
Have a wonderful week and talk with your trainer for more tips on how you can better rest, recover, and relax!