We all know by now that sleep is really important for pretty much every function in our body, but most people don't really understand how much poor sleep can be affecting. Here are 10 healthy habits to promote better sleep:
1) Be awakened by light. Using light to wake up naturally raises your cortisol. The slow rise helps you feel alert and relaxed.
2) Get moving right away. Movement seems to speed the waking process. When it's time to wake, avoid hitting snooze and get up right away.
3) Find the sun. Regular light exposure sets your daily melatonin production (a sleep hormone) This helps you stay away during the day, and allows your body to start to relax at night.
4) Monitor alcohol and caffeine consumption. Consuming caffeine after 2pm or having more than 2 drinks in the evening can interfere with deep sleep rhythms.
5) Exercise. Regular exercise helps normalize your body's circadian rhythm and optimizes hormone levels.
6) Eat smaller portions at night. Too much food right before bed can make it harder to fall asleep. Be sure to include a nice combination of slow digesting carbs, fat and protein.
7) Limit fluids. Drinking too much fluid right before bed can result in frequent waking and bathroom breaks.
8) Clear your mind. Whatever thoughts you have in your head, try writing the down before bed so you can start to relax with a clear mind.
9) Go the f*ck to Bed. Sticking to a reasonable bedtime that you can maintain consistently will help your body release calming hormones to help you fall asleep.
10) Sleep at least 7 hours. Most people need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you aren't anywhere near there, try working yourself up in 30 minute increments, even that small addition can add huge benefits.
Try implementing some of these healthy habits daily to increase your sleep quality, your body will thank you.
Live well, be well.