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feeling sleep hygiene

Sleep Hygiene

The Key to Restful Sleep
Do you know that a good night of restful sleep is probably one of the single most important things to insure good overall health.  The average adult needs 7-8 hours of restful sleep, teens 8-10, and school age children anywhere from 10-14 hours of sleep.

Good Sleep Leads to a sharper brain, a healthy heart, mood balance, athletic performance, good blood pressure, decreased chance for diabetes, increased metabolism, immune support, weight management, reduced stress and healthy protein regeneration.

Proper sleep offers a lot of amazing benefits.  Good sleep is often very hard to achieve however; and sleep is what you need to rebuild and reboot. Our bodies need this time to recover from the environmental toxins we are exposed to daily, recover from stress, fatigue, and challenges of balancing busy but exciting lifestyles.

sleep hygiene

Great Ways for a Healthy Night's Sleep

Consistent bedtime and rise time. Going to bed and rising from bed consistently around the same time is very beneficial to keep your metabolic clock in good working fashion.

• Keeping your bedtime and rise time within 60 min window is a great start.
• Avoid alcohol for at least 90 mins before bedtime. Alcohol has been shown to interrupt sleep time and time again.
• Avoid devices in bed.  Bedroom is for sex and sleep only.  The blue light emitted from your cell phone restrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle (aka circadian rhythm). This makes it even more difficult to fall asleep and wake up the next day.  Studies also show that expose to blue light can cause damage to your retinas.
• Try some breathing exercises like the one I am going to show you below.  Breathing exercises calm your body and help regulate the "rest and digest" or parasympathetic system in preparation for sleep. Taking 10-20 breaths slow and long in through your nose and out through your mouth will help you reach a calmer state of rest within the automimics system that regulate "fight or flight" and "rest & digest."
• Avoid caffeine after 5pm.
• Try a meditation app or meditation practice, soothing music, or reading (not on your phone but an actual book) to help shut off your brain and allow you to relax.
• Use an eye mask or black out blind. The darker the room the better the sleep.
• Consider sunshine or bright light when first waking up.  This helps better regulate your circadian rhythm.
• Sleep is when bodies heal, regenerate and recover. Side sleeping or back sleeping is recommended, and stomach sleeping should be avoided in most situations if possible.
• Left Sidelying Sleep: Place a pillow under the left lower rib cage for positional assistance for breathing and expansion of the right side. Place a pillow between the knees so that your feet can still touch for optimal pelvic position while lying on your left side.
• Right Sidelying Sleep: Place a pillow between your feet so that your knees are making contact for optimal pelvic position while lying on your right side

For your own customized sleeping plan, schedule an appointment to help you get on track to optimal mind and body health.
- Paige McNerthney MPT, PRC, PCES, CSCS, CKTP