Since daylight saving, I’ve been hearing many people say they’re having trouble adjusting to the time change. Our bodies have grown accustomed to going to bed and getting up at a certain hour so pushing the clocks ahead, even just one hour, has altered our sleep cycles. This leaves us tired, unfocused and, in many cases, more susceptible to illness.
Sleep is a critical component of our health. It’s as essential as breathing air, eating and drinking water. Getting consistent, and an adequate amount, of sleep is imperative to maintain a healthy body. We need to shut down at night in order to stay disease-free, think clearly, and stay focused when we’re awake. Without consistent sleep, we are not alert. We can’t process correctly, concentrate, and our judgement is impaired.
As sleep expert, Michael Walker, PhD, shares in his book, “Why We Sleep”:
“Sleep is the Swiss army knife of health. When sleep is deficient, there is sickness and disease. And when sleep is abundant, there is vitality and health.”
So how do we go to sleep and stay asleep?
Shut down devices
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced to regulate sleep cycles. Cell phones and computers give off a blue light which inhibits the production of melatonin. Shutting down these devices early, at least 30 minutes before bedtime according to the National Sleep Foundation, is a great first step in getting a better night’s sleep. Don’t forget to turn off cell phone notifications!
Meditation is a great way to relax and prepare for sleep. It comes in many forms and can include yoga, which is a great way to decompress. Watching TV should not be included as television stimulates brain waves and, depending on what you’re watching, could potentially prevent sleep. Try reading a book- check out these best sellers!
Calming essential oils
Lavender has been proven to have many relaxing and soothing affects. Try diffusing this essential oil at bedtime. Not only will it relax you but it will add moisture into the air and make your room smell great! Other essential oils for relaxation include: rose, patchouli, chamomile, clary sage, and bergamot.
As certain smells help us to wind down, sounds can also have a similar affect. Ever wonder why you sleep so soundly when at the beach? Certainly the salt air has something to do with it but it’s complimented by the tranquil melody of crashing waves. Check out these calming sound machines to feel like you’re at the beach all year long!
Tea is abundant in health benefits. Certain teas specifically have been shown to induce and increase the quality of sleep. Try chamomile, lemon, lavender, and passionflower to enjoy after dinner and before bed!
Make sure you have comfortable bed linens and sleep well!