Mireille's Journey To Health

REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!

Get Some Sleep

“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” ~Thomas Dekker

Your body needs sleep more than it needs food.

Your body needs sleep more than it needs food.

Let’s talk about some healthy habits for a few posts.  I have some great ideas.  I think we’ll kick it off with a post about sleep.  Did you know your body can survive approximately 2 weeks without food, but only about 10 days without sleep?  When you sleep, you may think you’re doing nothing, but in truth a lot is going on.  This is when you’re body repairs itself, whether it be from injury, working out, or fighting off illness.  This is when your body regulates and releases hormones most efficiently.  This is also when your brain recharges itself so it can function properly.  If I oversimplified that to the point that it doesn’t seem like a huge deal, I would just like to reiterate that cellular repair, proper hormonal balance, and brain function are essential to life.  When you deprive your body of sleep, you take away from your own quality of life.  You take away from your own optimal health.  Your immune system is weakened.  Injuries take longer to heal.  Your workouts don’t show optimal results.  You feel hungry, tired, and depressed.  Your memory isn’t as good.  It becomes harder to concentrate.

Obviously, the more sleep deprived your body is, the more dramatic the signs and  symptoms will be.  Sleep deprivation can become a problem when you take on an excessive workload, whether it be work or school.  The appeal of the night life might lure you away from your bed.  Or maybe, like so many others, you go to bed at a decent time, and just can’t seem to fall asleep.

I  lay in bed awake, a lot.  It’s not because I’m not tired.  I sure am.  My mind gets going, and I just start thinking of all kinds of things.  Then, in the morning, I have such a hard time when the alarm goes off.  There are a few things I’ve noticed have a direct impact on my quality of sleep, and I’m going to share them with you in hopes that, perhaps, they’ll help you, as well.

  • Be consistent. Let’s say you always go to bed at 10pm, and wake up at 6:30am.  Your body gets used to this, and come 10pm, it knows it’s time to go to sleep.  At 6:30am, it knows it’s time to wake up.  If you do something regularly, your body catches on.  Use this to your advantage.  Spontaneity has it’s place in life, but healthy habits should be routine.
  • Get ready for  bed.  Every night (speaking of routines), do the same thing to get ready for bed.  You’re body will catch on that this is the signal that it is time to wind down.  Try something relaxing.  I turn down the lights and craft or read about health and nutrition.
  • Be active during the day.  Just like, relaxing in the evening tells your body it’s night time, being active during the day tells your body it’s day time.  Don’t sleep the day away, or it will confuse your body’s natural clock.
  • Don’t go  to bed hungry or full. Try to cut off your food intake about 2 hours before bed. If you find that you are still hungry, have something small. Just enough to satisfy your hunger.  You want to quiet your mind and body.  Having your stomach growling at you because it’s hungry, or trying to process a large meal is only going to keep you awake..
  • Limit caffeine in the later hours of the day.  We all have different caffeine tolerances. Some people can drink a cup of coffee before bed, and for others it would have them bouncing off the walls.  For me, caffeine keeps my mind going, and keeps me up at night.  Know your own caffeine tolerance and follow the rule of less is more.
  • Make your room a relaxing place.  Set the temperature a little cooler so you can get cozy under your blankets,  Put up good curtains that don’t let any light through.  If your bed, pillow, and/or blankets are uncomfortable, I’d suggest getting new ones.
  • Take a homeopathic/holistic approach.  Melatonin works great when used occasionally.  I can tell you from personal experience, daily use will lead to a tolerance, requiring you to continually raise the dose.  Valerian, as well.  You can get either at just about every supplement store, and even most grocery stores. Like I said, they are wonderful for occasional use.  You can also get Valerian as an essential oil. It, along with Valor, Vetiver, Roman Chamomile, Lavender, and Cedarwood, and many others have a relaxing, calming effect.  Yoga and meditation are also helpful for many.  I can honestly say, that nothing is more relaxing than a shavasana at the end of yoga practice.

I would like to reiterate that everyone is different, and you’ll find what works for you as you go through and try different things.  The suggested methods I’ve listed have worked for many people.  They’re a great place to start.  Our bodies need sleep not only to get through the day, but to be fit, to function, to be happy, to heal, and to maintain their defenses against infection and disease.  While sleep has become less and less of a priority, until we are exhausted, walking zombies, it should be one of our top priorities.  Things come up.  If you have kids, they may alter your routines a little or even a lot.  You do the best you can.  In this “Go Go Go” world we live in, it’s all you can do.  Love your body because you only get one.  Let it rest because every man and machine has to recharge to perform.

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11 comments on “Get Some Sleep

  1. Cheryl M Ledwidge
    March 11, 2015

    Thank you for your insight on sleep. For someone who has suffered from insomnia for many years, these tips do work, Especially the late in the day caffeine. I had to break my habit of drinking the coke/coffee at 4 pm for the boost to face the rest of the afternoon. Now, instead, I get up and move around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mireillesjourneytohealth
      March 11, 2015

      I agree Cheryl, around 4, I get tired, and it’s hard to push through, but that caffeine cuts into my sleep. It’s easier for me to keep my energy up during the day when the sun is out and I’m outside. The cloudy days are the days I yearn for a pick me up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. excellent i may even have to change my ways

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Healthy Habits – A Never Ending Work In Progress | Mireille's Journey To Health

  4. Baja Moto Quest!
    March 18, 2015

    I find I awake at about 2:30AM a lot. It takes me a least 1hr to go back to sleep. I go to bed at 10pm and get up at 5am. It’s reallly weird…

    Liked by 1 person

    • mireillesjourneytohealth
      March 18, 2015

      Yeah i struggle to stay asleep, as well. Im going to try using essential oils in the room because when you do all you can, but you still wake up, its frustrating.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Baja Moto Quest!
        March 18, 2015

        Please let me know what you use and if it works!

        Liked by 1 person

      • mireillesjourneytohealth
        March 19, 2015

        I will! I think I’m going to pick some stuff up this weekend, and I will definitely let you know!

        Like

      • Baja Moto Quest!
        March 19, 2015

        I find I sleep better after I’ve had a sleepless bout the night before. It is amazing how much better you feel after a good night’s sleep. Your article is spot on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • mireillesjourneytohealth
        March 19, 2015

        Thank you! I agree, I also sleep better after a sleepless night.

        Like

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This entry was posted on March 10, 2015 by in Healthy Living and tagged , , , , , .
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