Updated: Feb 11
With having to work full or part time, caring for family, hanging out with friends, catching up on that show on Netflix and finding time for the gym leaves precious little time for sleep and you rather be doing other things than actually sleeping. For many sleeping has become unattainable commodity and a luxury to be savoured only on the weekends.
More than half (51%) of adults worldwide report they get less sleep than they need on an average night, and 80 percent of adults say they are using weekend days to make up for sleep lost during the week.
Do you know that when you’re sleep-deprived, your cortisol rises which mimics the stress of the blood sugar roller coaster and all of its harmful effects, such as weight gain, insulin resistance, heart attacks, high blood pressure, depress
ion, osteoporosis, decreased immune function, and more?
A lack of sleep also increases the hormone ghrelin, which is known as the hunger hormone. This is produced predominantly by the stomach. This hormone also acts on the pleasure center of the brain, which can prompt you to reach for multiple servings.
When tired, you are more likely to make poor decisions, doubt yourself, and feel foggy brained or anxious. Sounds familiar?
So how does one get deep and restorative sleep?
Use power down hour one hour before you want to go to sleep. Begin powering down all of your electronics and go through your evening routine full of relaxing activities. This will ready your system physically and psychologically for sleep.
Practice regular sleep rhythms—go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This routine will also help you get to sleep at a regular time consistently, which will help reset your circadian rhythm. The circadia
n rhythm coordinates a natural ebb and flow of different bodily processes happening at specific points throughout the day such as metabolism, immunity, sex drive, cognitive functions, etc.
Have no TV in the bedroom (try to keep all technology in a different room including phones)
Create an aesthetic environment in your bedroom that encourages sleep i.e. serene, restful colors and no clutter (try to keep family photos in a different room too)
Create total darkness and quiet—consider using eye shades and earplugs
Avoid caffeine or reduce it after noon as it may make sleep restless and worse
Avoid alcohol—it may aid sleep but it makes your sleep interrupted and of poor quality
Get regular exposure to daylight for at least 20 minutes daily. The light from the sun enters your eyes and triggers your brain to release specific chemicals and hormones like melatonin that are vital to healthy sleep, mood, and
Many experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night as optimal. Just like food, it is about finding the right amount that works best for you. Try and experiment the changes for a week’s time and see how you go.