Let’s Talk About Sleep, Baby!
“Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds” —JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom
“The minute anyone’s getting anxious I say, ‘You must eat and you must sleep. They’re the two vital elements for a healthy life.’” —Francesca Annis
As we move through 2017 focusing on one healthy practice each month, I knew we needed to start with sleep! Believe it or not, one of the first questions I ask when I sit down with a client is, “How many hours of sleep do you get on an average night?” The connection between sleep and mental and physical health is undeniable. Rubin Naiman, PhD and author of The Sleep Secret states that studies show sleep deprivation has been linked to infection, insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes, cancer, arthritis & mood disorders. (Sleep deprivation was defined as getting less than six hours of sleep a night regularly.)
During sleep our body is able to heal and perform necessary functions such as tissue repair, muscle growth and protein synthesis. (Note that this will not occur while one Netflix and chills—you must actually sleep.) Quality sleep strengthens the immune system as well as increases metabolism and sex drive. Just go ahead and show the last half of that sentence to your partner and they will be A-Okay with your new earlier bedtime.
In a perfect world we would all be getting 7-10 hours of sleep per night. With a seven-month-old baby at home, I know the struggle is real! Waking up every three hours in my house is not uncommon. If you’re in a similar position, choosing to focus on increasing the quality of the sleep you are able to get would be a great goal to start on this week.
A few things you can start to do today to increase the quality of sleep:
- Limit your caffeinated beverages in the afternoon.
- Turn off your phone, TV and computer an hour before bedtime.
- Have a regular bedtime ritual to unwind and put your body in a relaxed state.
Personally speaking, my mind is always going a mile a minute, so for that extra relaxation boost I like to put a few drops of lavender oil on my pillow case.
Have a beautiful weekend and remember to get all the z’s!