One component of health that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves?
Sleep is the best way to maintain a healthy immune system and can have a significant influence on your physical, emotional, intellectual, and social well-being. At minimum, 7-8 hours of sleep per night is ideal to support the body and mind.
Wake up feeling rested with these tips:
- 15 minutes before bedtime, disconnect from technology and limit bright lights that can stimulate your brain and keep you awake: turn down the lights, close the blinds, and turn off computer screens, tvs, and phones.
- Avoid heavy meals two hours before bedtime.
- Avoid ingesting/smoking cannabis 4 to 6 hours prior to bedtime (interferes with sleep cycle).
- Avoid alcohol consumption 3 or more hours prior to bedtime (interferes with sleep cycle).
- Limit caffeine use later in the day (needs will vary from person to person). If you have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep, consider limiting caffeine use to earlier in the day.
- Don’t have time for a nap but are feeling tired during the day? Make your environment brighter, take off your sunglasses, open the blinds, go for a walk outside, or grab a healthy snack to provide much needed fuel for your body and mind.
- If you have to make up for missed sleep by napping, nap in the early afternoon and for no more than 90 minutes to prevent difficulty falling asleep at night.
- Having a hard time falling asleep? Try a non-stimulating activity, keep lights low, and stay away from phones, tvs & computers. Try reading a book instead, deep breathing (apps and videos can be found online), journaling or stretching.
Crafting the Right Sleep Environment
Bed: Limit bed use to sleep and intimacy if possible. Do not do anything stimulating in bed as a way to fall asleep. For example, avoid checking emails, social media, and texting.
Light: Eliminate as much light from your room as possible. Close blinds, lower lights, and avoid using technology.
Temperature: Keep your room cooled to 65-70 degrees. While sleeping, our body cools and sends heat to our extremities. If you can’t control the thermostat, experiment with lighter sheets, pajamas, or a portable fan.
Noise/Environment: Eliminate stimulating noise if possible. For some, leaving a fan on or downloading a white noise app to your phone can help create an ideal sleep environment.
- Try to go to bed and wake up at a similar time each day when possible, including weekends. A regular routine is good!
- Prepare for sleep. Do the things that will help you get to sleep in a time frame that works for you.
- Engage in relaxation exercises. Try relaxation techniques including deep breathing exercises, gentle yoga, meditation, journaling, or listening to soothing music.