My Gift to You – Sweet Dreams!

My 90 Day Recovery program delves much more in to teaching about our Circadian Rhythm and the way simple adjustments in the timing of when we eat, sleep and move can have miraculous health and weight loss benefits, even without changing the what. But I also teach the what and how because i want you to be successful right out of the gate and have that feeling of health and vitality last for a lifetime.

I think that the most important change that you can make is to get quality sleep every night. Lack of sleep will derail even the most perfect eating and exercise habits. Lack of sleep causes STRESS – with high cortisol putting you in a fight or flight mode, and increasing your desire for quick fixes from food, sugar, alcohol and worse. Lack of sleep leaves you impaired in the same way as having 2 alcoholic drinks and has been shown to lower your ability to concentrate, perform or test well at work or school.

Sleep Hygiene is the new term to describe best practices and habits for a good night’s sleep. As adults we need 7-8 hours of sleep each night, while children and teens need 9-10. It’s time to stop wearing our all-nighters as a badge of honor and start honoring ourselves – by giving our body the recovery it needs and setting us up for success and health, rather than stress, illness and failure. Sleep deprivation can be fatal.

The experiment was simple: Give these brave little mice ‘short mouse nights’ and ‘long mouse nights,’ and then one by one add carcinogens to their unsuspecting systems… The short-night mice began developing tumors at such a rapid rate that the researchers couldn’t tell which substances were responsible, but in the long-night mice — many, many carcinogens down the line — they couldn’t give them cancer. Even the researchers admitted that it was the presence of melatonin in the long-night mice that made them impervious to carcinogens. Mice are mammals. So are you.” — T.S. Wiley, referring to a John Hopkins University study in Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival

Getting quality sleep is so important for both physical and mental health, while it improves productivity and overall quality of life. Sleep time is when our immune system does its finest work, our memories get filed away, and we get in to a fat burning state. Everyone, from children to older adults, can benefit from practicing good sleep habits.

Here are 6 ways to implement good Sleep Hygiene:

ONEKeep a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s “internal clock” to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. Try to stick as closely as possible to your routine on weekends as well, to avoid a Monday morning sleep hangover. This consistency will keep you out of “sleep debt”, which must be paid first and if it cuts in to your next sleep cycle, leaving you short again, more debt will continue to accrue.

TWOTurn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment. Quiet, dark and cool makes for the best night’s sleep. Use blackout shades, curtains, or an eye mask to block light so your brain knows it is sleep time. Use earplugs, a white noise device, or a fan to blur noises that might wake you. Add lavender essential oils with an aroma diffuser. Keep the temperature comfortably cool – between 60 and 67° F. Your room should be kept tidy, and limit its use to sleep and sex. Pets that might wake you should sleep elsewhere.

THREELower your body temperature. Cooling down increases melatonin production, allowing you to fall asleep faster. Use a device like a chill pad or take a warm shower or bath, which will draw blood flow towards the skin and away from your core. While a memory foam mattress may feel heavenly to lay upon, the foam will trap your body heat and warm you up, disrupting your sleep.

FOURStop eating (and drinking) 2-4 hours before bed. That includes everything except water or decaf herbal tea. You need to shut down the digestion department so your body can cool down and focus on nighttime recovery and repair. Discontinue caffeine and chocolate by mid-day as their effects can linger up to 10 hours. Incorporate mineral-rich foods with magnesium, calcium and potassium at dinnertime. Keep hydrated throughout the day and take a glass of water to bed, as often we wake due to dehydration or dry mouth.

FIVE Limit light exposure at night and increase it in the morning. We are designed to follow the sun, so when we extend our day with artificial light and stay inside after the sun comes up, we throw off our Circadian Rhythm. Use candles, bedtime bulbs and blue light blocking glasses at night – this will help you get sleepy. Turn off TV and electronic devices 2 hours before bed and put devices on Night Shift to dim them. Use motion activated red nightlights for the bathroom. Expose yourself to as much sunlight as possible in the morning by going outside, avoiding sunglasses, sitting close to a window or using a SAD lamp for 20-30 minutes. This will reinforce awake time.

SIXUse relaxation tools to turn off the brain chatter. Bedtime stories aren’t just for kids! Listen to a story on apps like Calm or Headspace while you take a gentle walk before bed. Use them for guided meditation or audiobooks like Psychosomatic Wellness for meditation, affirmations and healing music. Try different things to see which works best for you. Avoid checking emails, problem solving, heated discussions and the like before bed. Set your alarm and avoid stressing about the time or falling asleep.

If you are using a health monitoring device to track your sleep, like a Fitbit, I suggest you skip that feature. Those flashing green lights against your skin and light coming on when you move your arm may actually be disrupting your sleep. Turn the heart rate off a couple of hours before bed if you are still tracking steps, and remove it at bedtime.

These are just some of the ways that you can improve your Sleep Hygiene and get your Rhythm back on track. When our body clocks are in Rhythm, our bodies function as they were designed to do – nourishing, healing and energizing us. My program gives you the tools and understanding to make choices that tie in to that Rhythm, freeing you from obsessing over cravings and battling willpower, reducing inflammation and the havoc it causes inside us. You can make BIG, dramatic and lasting changes in just 90 days.

The first step towards getting somewhere is deciding you are not going to stay where you are.

Now is your time. Here is your chance. Take that step towards the life you want and deserve to be living – healthy, energized and full of vitality! If you want guidance, support and accountability and are willing to put in the time and energy to make this powerful life change a part of you, schedule a Skype call today. My 90 Day Recovery program is customized for you. AND, you’ll save 10% with the code: sleepy10.

Ask yourself, “If not now, WHEN?”

“If you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.”

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