January 1, 2019

Sleep Tips to Improve Your Health

Sleep is a crucial part of your health. Without enough sleep your body cannot heal and recover. Following the proper sleep cycle, our bodies should be ready for bed around 10 p.m.

Throughout the day our bodies go through a variety of physical and mental stressors, and sleep is the time to rebuild and repair our muscles and brain. 

Between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. our bodies do most of the muscle repair, and after 2 a.m. mental repair takes place. 

If you go to bed at midnight, you will miss two hours of physical repair potentially causing you to wake up feeling tired and even sore, as your body didn't get to finish repairs from the night before.

To get better sleep, try these tips:
  • Wear a sleep mask, I use this one from Amazon
  • Reduce light in the bedroom -- consider using black out shades, cover lights from alarm clocks, don't use night lights.
  • Turn the thermostat down to 70 degrees or lower
  • Shut down your computer and TV one hour before bed, use the f.lux computer software to reduce blue light for better sleep or wear blue light blocking glasses.
  • Turn your phone to airplane or sleep mode at night to reduce disturbances -- even better, charge someplace other than your bedroom at night!
  • Caffeine has a 6 hour half life, meaning that it takes 12 hours to completely get out of your system. If you want to go to bed at 10:30 pm, your last cup of coffee or other caffeine source should be at 10:30 am.
  • Try a bedtime meditation to help wind down -- the app Headspace (40% off right now, and only $9.99 per year for students) has a lot of great options, or write down your to do list for the next day to help relax at night. 
The more you can do to get back in sync with the sun's cycle, the better sleep you will have and the more energized and restored you will feel the next day. 

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