• Megan

6 Steps for Better Sleep that Wont Cost You Anything

Good, deep sleep is not just about what we do right before and in bed to get a good night’s rest. There are many things we can do throughout the day to promote a good night’s sleep once we slip under the covers and drift off to dream land. Good sleep actually starts from the moment you wake up in the morning. Try some of these tips today to get better sleep tonight.

1. Get bright light exposure within 30 minutes of waking in the morning: During the summer hours it is as easy as opening the curtains to let the light in your bedroom. The bright light will help your brain to stop the production of the main sleep hormone, melatonin. This will help the body to know it is no longer needed and time to get a move on with the day. During the winter hours you may need to seek out sources of bright light such as a daylight light box.

2. Get regular movement: Regular exercise helps the body to discharge excess cortisol, the main stress hormone. Aim for at least 30 minutes of intentional movement per day. This can include lifting weights, playing sports, walking or even yoga. Exercise requires more time in the stages of deep sleep to repair and restore function of the body.

3. Eat regular meals: Maintaining a regular meal schedule with a balanced diet will help prevent dips and peaks of your blood sugar, which is directly connected with your stress hormone, cortisol. If cortisol is too high, falling and staying asleep can be nearly impossible.

4. Reduce or eliminate stimulating food and drink products: We all know and love caffeine for its amazing ability to give us a little pick me up when we need it most. But, too much of a good thing can leave us agitated at night an unable to sleep. Coffee (even decaffeinated), tea, sugar and alcohol can all disrupt our sleep. Avoid consuming these items close to bed time to prevent disruption to sleep.

5. Avoid naps in the late afternoon or evening: Bed might be the first thing on our mind when we get home from a long day at work, but snagging an extra little cat nap just before dinner will reduce our drive to sleep later in the evening confuses our circadian rhythm, and can make sleep more difficult.

6. Track your sleep habits: Keeping track of your sleep through the use of a sleep diary or a fitness tracker can help you notice when your sleep habits are starting to slide. Noticing when you are getting too few hours, when your movement or restlessness has increased, or you are beginning to wake multiple times through the night can help you make better decisions throughout the day for a better night’s sleep.

Want to know more that you can do for a good night's sleep, call and schedule a 15 minute free consult.

Megan Little ND, NBC-HWC

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