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Why is Sleep so Important?
It is very important to get a good night’s sleep as often as possible. When we have a rough night of sleep, it can be hard to recover in the morning.
Sleep happens when your body and brain drop into an unconscious, restorative state. Although we normally don’t remember much about when we are sleep, we spend about a third of our life sleeping. Sleep can do remarkable things for us. It allows our body to rest and perform some essential rejuvenation on our memory, hormones, immune system, and more.
Good Habits to Promote a Good Night’s Sleep
“Sleep is the best meditation”~Dalai Lama
- Sunlight – Get regular exposure to sunlight. At least 30 minutes a day is preferable. I love to sit on my deck and look at my plants. Not only does the sun feel good but the plant-watching is calming.
- Avoid caffine, especially late in the day. For a long time, I needed to drink a cup of coffee daily however in recent years, I’ve scaled down my intake. If I can get to 10AM with no coffee, then I feel that I’m safe to skip the cup for the day.
- If you exercise, try to stop your workout at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Limit large meals and/or a lot of liquids before bed.
- Take time to relax before you crawl into bed. Be intentional. Read a book, listen to music, or journal.
- Dim the lights in the evening. Since I shower before bed, I almost always shower with the bathroom light on the dimmer option. A hot bath can help as well.
- Try to keep electronics out of the bedroom. I know it’s hard, but it can be distracting at bedtime.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule if possible.
- Eye masks are great if you can’t get your room dark with shades or curtains.
- White noise can work wonders with cancelling out sounds that might wake you up.
- Try yoga nidra or meditation as a great way to wind down for the night.
Sleep Trackers to Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep trackers/monitors can help you determine the amount of time you are in bed and asleep. I currently use my Apple Watch to track my sleep but I previously used a Fitbit tracker. Sleep devices can analyze changes in physical activity, including movement during the night.
According to Johns Hopkins, sleep trackers can be helpful in recognizing patterns in your sleep habits. It can give you something to reflect on with easy-to-spot trends.
If you have concerns about the quality of your sleep, it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor.