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Stress Less,

Sleep Better

23 November 2019

A new phrase we are hearing is “Sleep Hygiene". "Sleep Hygiene
 refers to both how well we sleep & how we can clean up our sleep environment so that we get optimal rest. Why is good sleep so critical? We are now learnin
g that getting quality sleep not only helps us feel alert & allows us to concentrate, but also has a myriad of health benefits. 

 

Quality sleep:

  • Decreases likelihood of getting sick

  • Helps maintain healthy weight & metabolism

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes and other chronic illnesses

  • Allows us to enjoy better focus and clarity

  • Hastens the healing process if injured or sick

  • Lowers stress (& systemic cortisol) levels

 

 

Tips for getting better sleep:

 

  1. Limit screen time in the evening. A little TV in the evening here or there isn’t so much a problem, but taking your phone, iPad or laptop into bed with you can hinder the winding down process. Turn off all screens at least one hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted from screens delays the release of melatonin (making it harder to fall asleep) & messes with your circadian rhythm.

  2. Rebalance. Doing the MELT Rebalance Sequence up to an hour before you retire will help stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system--a.k.a. the "rest and restore regulators"-- ultimately helping you fall asleep & stay asleep.

  3. Create a relaxing nighttime routine...& stick to it. What makes you feel relaxed, calm & luxurious? A warm bath, hot shower, making love, snuggling up with your fur baby, reading, rubbing a little lavender oil on the bottom of your feet, filling your diffuser with essential oils that promote sleep? When you find your groove, stick with it & do it every night...a little self-care never hurt anybody! 

  4. Keep your bedroom cool. Cranking up the heat may feel good when you get home on a cold night, but when it comes time to hit the hay, aim for cooler temperatures. Our bodies sleep better when our core temperature drops 2 degrees during the night (which occurs when sleeping in 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the National Sleep Foundation. 

  5. Leave worry at the door. Easier said than done, right? It’s difficult to relax if we take the worries of work, family & finances to bed with us. If you have a long to-do list going through your mind, jot the items down on your nightstand, take a deep breath, then let it go until morning when you are awake & fresh.

  6. Make a mantra. If I wake in the middle of the night, my mantra is “I am asleep”. I use this to help keep my brain from waking up & thinking about the million things I have to do in the morning. It may help to repeat it in your head over & over until you return to sleep. We are all unique, so when you find your mantra, own it!

  7. Bask in the sunlight. Get sunlight on your face right away. On sunny days, go to an east-facing window or get outside and let the sunlight hit you. In the winter, simply step outside...even overcast skies let sunlight through. Soaking in the sun helps your circadian rhythm & sets you up for good night sleep.

  8. Exercise regularly, better yet if your exercise is outdoors. Getting a workout in will fatigue your muscles & body, which may help you fall asleep even if your mind is awake. As a cyclist, I know that even when my mind is racing, I sleep so well after a good ride! Whether you walk, swim, or play tennis, outdoor activity sets you up for great night sleep.

  9. Head to bed & wake up at the same time every day...even weekends! One last one we’ve all heard keeps the same bedtime and wake time. Help your body know what is expected of it. Once you form the habit, you may not even need an alarm clock! You deserve to wake up rested & refreshed...and reliable sleep times can help!

 

When you incorporate healthy sleep habits into your life, you will not only enjoy better sleep, but you will also feel less stressed. Energy & stress work in an antagonistic relationship. When you are energized, you are more productive & less stressed. When you are drained of energy, minutia can trigger stress. Hope this helps! 

And don't forget to sign up for our "Stress Less, Sleep Better: MELT Holiday Edition" Workshop on Monday, December 16th from 7-8:30PM! This workshop will be focused on MELT techniques that will destress your body & help you obtain higher quality sleep. 

Can't wait to see you there.

Sleep better, stress less my friends.

-Maria