Sleep and Our Health
Written by: Kyle Vassar, CFW Health Fitness Professional
We look at our diet and exercise and think “That’s health. That’s what determines a healthy person”. And although those are very important contributors to our health, we are missing another really important part: sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep makes me wake up with a fogless mind, ready to start off the day right. Getting a bad night’s sleep... well, I may as well be a zombie. It feels like I can’t form a full thought. It’s a miracle I haven’t left the house with my clothes backward, inside out or mismatched after a rough sleep. The point is, it’s tough to function on little to no sleep.
On average, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep. Getting those 7-9 hours can be difficult. We work longer hours, have evening events and extracurriculars, and when we get home, we all have magic rectangles in our pockets that show us anything and everything that can distract us from our precious z’s.
So how can we get more sleep with all that’s going on? I have a few ideas that have worked for me, and I’d be happy to share them with you. None of the ideas I’ll share call for you to take any kind of sleep aid. No drugs, no supplements. 100 percent, all-natural sleep. The good stuff.
First tip: Put down the phone when you get in bed!
That thing’s a blessing and a curse. It will give you the world and take your hard-earned sleep in return. Make a ritual of setting it screen down when you get in bed. Make sure your alarm’s set, then get away from it! If your eyes are absorbing light at 12 o’clock midnight then your body’s clock thinks its daytime, and it will adjust your chemical processes to be awake and alert. So just put it down. You won’t miss much, including sleep.
Second tip: Get the TV out of the bedroom!
This is kind of the same tip. If you have a TV in your room, that’s the same as having a phone in your room, just way bigger and mounted high on the wall. Turn it off and remove it from the bedroom. Keeping the number of stimuli low in your bedroom is a must.
Last tip: Watch your night-time diet!
Eating close to the time you go to bed could make it hard for you to fall asleep depending on what you eat. Foods with caffeine or sugars may keep you from feeling tired and other foods may cause acid reflux. If you are hungry and getting close to bedtime, go for a protein rich snack before you hit the sack!