One Small Change: Getting Your Vitamin ZTuesday, January 29, 2013
Developing a few healthy practices can help you get a more restful sleep. Try making a small change to help you slip off to The Land of Nod.
When the weight of the world or the weight around your middle starts to wear you down, one of the best things you can do for yourself is get a good night’s rest. Not only does getting your zzz’s makes you feel more refreshed, but without adequate rest to replenish organs, muscles and tissues, your body produces more inflammation and lowers your immune system.
Is 8 the Magic Number?
It’s long believed that everyone needs 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep times can vary between individuals, so don’t fret if you’re not getting in all eight, as long as you wake refreshed. Occasional insomnia is generally nothing to worry about. Chronic sleep loss is a bigger concern. People who regularly get fewer than 6 hours of sleep have higher levels of C-reactive protein, the inflammation marker which is linked to health concerns. In addition, a 2004 study showed that the less sleep folks got, the more weight they gained.
This Week’s Goal: Make one change to improve the quality of your sleep
There are a lot of reasons why we can’t fall asleep at night, and not all are within our control. Below are 7 small changes you can make in order to improve your bedtime. Just one change can make a positive impact on your life and health.
- Sacred Time: Choose a reasonable hour to retire and honor it, just like you would any other appointment.
- Ritual of Sleep: Create a regular wind down routine, it will signal your brain to slow down and prepare for rest.
- Dark and Quiet: Make the effort to create a sanctuary for resting. Even small lights from electronics can be disturbing.
- Eat Lighter: Eating large meals before bedtime makes it harder to drop off, but having a light snack can actually help you fall asleep easier.
- Clear Your Mind: When too many things on your mind prevent you from winding down, journal the things that need thinking about for the next day to clear your head.
- Practice Gratitude: Soften your thinking with positive thoughts, or even a few minutes of meditation and breathing.
- Limit alcohol: Too much alcohol inhibits your sleep and reduces sleep quality. If you need an alcoholic beverage, limit it to 1.
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