Did you know? We are meant to sleep 1/3 of our lives. Even the smallest disturbances or deprivations can cause long-term health problems. Catching up on sleep can take years to repair the damage missed sleep has caused.
What happens while we sleep
- Brain processing, memory formation
- Energy conservation
- Tissue growth and healing
- Immune system function
- Making new neural connections
- Detoxifying the brain and other parts of the body
- Maintenance of our gut flora
Better sleep starts during the day
- Get outside and be in nature
- Move your body daily
- Reduce caffeine intake, especially after noon
- Maintain a consistent bedtime
- Unwind a few hours before bed, dim your lights to mimic bedtime
- Avoid all electronics 1 – 2 hours before bed, but if you must use them, wear blue-light blocking glasses
- Take a bath, shower, or wash your face before bed
Create a healthy sleep space
- Your bedroom should be a calm environment, a place where you can relax
- Temperature should be not too hot and not too cold
- Your bedroom should be as dark as possible — blackout curtains, no LED lights (try covering any small indicator lights on your electronics with tape and unplug any that don’t need to stay on/plugged in)
- Add white noise, like a fan or a machine
It made a world of difference for me when I started using color-changing lights in my bedroom and bathroom. Red seems to be the color we use most often at night. Doing this while we prepare to go to sleep helps to continue to wind down. I also got room darkening shades and shut off the LED light on my fan. I noticed I am falling asleep a lot faster.
Learn more about what causes sleep disruption and what you can do about it in our post How to Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep Without Medication.
If you have tried these tips and you still aren’t sleeping, schedule yourself an initial visit at My Healthy Beginning to get to the root cause.