Healthy living requires a great deal of planning. Most people do not consider sleep something they have to plan. The benefits of sleep outweigh the work required to plan for a good night sleep. When we focus on our goal to look better, to feel better, and to improve our memory the extra 10 minutes that are necessary to plan a good night sleep seem well worth it. Let’s take some time to review the benefits you may not have thought about.
A good night sleep helps rebuild collagen this gives her skin more elasticity and less wrinkles. This helps improve our overall look and makes us feel younger. When we are feeling good we are willing to do more during the day. Sleep also helps contribute to being able to perform more activities. Those who play golf have noticed that when they get a proper night sleep their scores go down. This is because the brain works better when it is not sleep deprived. The benefit is that the increased exercise allows you to sleep better which then them helps you improve your gain more. Proper sleep also allows for better social function. When we are feeling healthy and well rested we are able to interact with other people on a higher level. We are able to make more successful judgments. We are able to accept more events that do not necessarily fall within the box that we consider normal disability to accept is in direct proportion to the amount of sleep that we have the night before.
A good night’s sleep also helps those that we are with during the day whether it’s our spouse, our children, or our current coworkers. When we are sleep deprived we make poor decisions. When we have enough sleep we are able to access more of our brain more of our memories and more averred areas of judgment and so we are able to communicate better with those around us.
It is our job to ask our doctors when we are not getting enough sleep how to achieve optimal sleep. You must let him know if there is snoring teeth grinding movements or others or getting up to go the bathroom multiple times during the night. Each of these issues can be handled if the physician knows about them.
Our ultimate goal is to be healthy and to be as active as possible for as long as possible. If we can also look good at the same time the entire better. It’s a simple step to get enough sleep so you can achieve all these benefits.
As we start the New Year we always make resolutions or goals we would like to achieve during the year. This past year we have all learned that sleep affects all aspects of your health and so you may want to add a better night sleep as one of your goals for the year. The problem is how to approach this to make it practical. Creating SMART goals are usually the most successful goals.
Let’s look at some small changes you can make and add to your daily life that can improve your sleep. These are not big things but small changes you can add to your routine and as you build one on the other you will find that you will sleep better and have more energy during the day.
· Give you your electronics 40 minutes before bedtime. The light given off by your electronics confuse your brain and make it believe it is daytime. If you turn them off 40 minutes prior to bedtime you give you mind time to relax and allow Melatonin to be releases helping you to sleep. Melatonin is released when you are exposed to darkness. So turning down the lights, turning off the electronics and enjoying the quite time during the evening helps to allow this hormone to be released.
· Practice diaphragmatic breathing. One of the great ways to relax is to deep breathe. Lie down, put your hands on your abdomen just below your ribcage as you inhale push out against your hands, as you exhale pull your abdominal muscles in. This exercise helps you to increase your oxygen levels, increase your lung capacity and calm your brain due to your concentration on your breathing. Doing this for 5-10 minutes as part of your bedtime routine will help you especially if you have transient insomnia, or insomnia caused by a particular issue.
· Create a bedtime that is 15 minutes earlier to increase your sleep time. Large changes in bedtime will most likely lead to insomnia but a small change such 15 minutes will allow you to increase your sleep time without adding time just staring at the ceiling.
· Do not use the snooze button. You will find that if you get up at the same time every day and do not linger in bed you will have more energy during the day. It will also help you to not feel so
· Add ten minutes of sunlight to your morning routine. Open the curtains, sit out on the balcony, or take a walk. Any of these ideas will help you to feel more awake and have more energy. Your brain needs the light to tell you to be awake just like it needs the dark to tell it to go to sleep.
These are just a few ideas to add to your life during the New Year. It is not necessary to add all of these ideas or to add them all at once but when you are making a goal using the smart method is the best way to more ahead. Each of these is measurable, sustainable, and very specific. I know improving your sleep will make this year a great your for you.
_ As we go through out review of the past year and look forward to our next year it is important that the time we take to review and pledge to move forward we considers all aspects of our lives. If we do not create a life that is balanced we cannot be optimally healthy. There are several steps you can take to make goals more successful when you are planning how to balance them.
Your health should always be your priority. You cannot be successful in other areas of your life if you do not care for yourself. If you find that you have more chores than hours of the day you need to prioritize. You should always write them down whether it is on your smartphone, on paper or on your computer. You will have emergencies arise but if you plan for things like exercise, meal preparation and your yearly physical than you are more likely to to accomplish them. The same is true of your sleep time. If you plan for bedtime than you are more likely to go to bed in a timely manner.
With bedtime in mind you might want to consider adding 10 minutes of stretching or yoga to help you to relax. Giving yourself time to unwind that is not electrical in nature will help you to go to sleep easier. The light from television, your cell phone or your computer can be too stimulating to your brain and keep you from going to sleep. The proper amount if sleep will help you be healthier, think clearer and lose weight of that is one of your goals.
Take time to pack your meals. Eating healthy is difficult but if you take a little time to pack your breakfast and lunch you will find you will eat healthier and feel better. In the morning if you do not have the time to eat a full meal consider a meal replacement shake. Having your breakfast will help you to not be so hungry at night. This is especially important for those with acid reflux, hiatal hernias or GERD because you really should not eat right before bed.
Plan your exercise time in advance. If you are not a morning person do not plan to get up early to exercise because you are setting yourself up for failure. If however you know you work late every night than plan to get up a little earlier and go for a walk or do a video. The nice think about videos is that no one else will see how uncoordinated you are.
Take time to connect to your friends and family. People who are connected are less stressed. When you have less stress you are less likely to suffer from insomnia. If you do have insomnia issues behavioral changes have been found to be more successful than medications for long term treatment.
Looking forward to the new year we need to find the balance between work, family and taking care of ourselves. It is not an easy goal but with a little planning you can put your health at the top of your list. As it is said when you feel good those around you feel good.