Listen up, Sleeping Beauty: When it comes to health, QUALITY SLEEP just might be the most overlooked element there is. While optimized nutrition changes are an integral piece of vibrant health, sleep is another critical one to heal and restore your body.
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Restorative, blissful sleep is often hard to come by—but oh so critical to your health and well-being. Even more importantly, a LACK of sleep can cause serious damage, affecting your body’s ability to maintain:
MEMORY & FOCUS – Deep sleep helps with memory consolidation—where the brain processes events of the day, making memories and links. More quality sleep helps you remember and process things better. STAY SHARP: SLEEP!
WEIGHT LOSS – Poor sleep patterns mess around with your appetite, which control hormones. The rise in cortisol can cause adrenal fatigue and also make you hold fat around your middle. STAY SLIM: GO TO SLEEP!
RECOVERY – The sleeping body works hard repairing protein breakdown and damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays, and muscle exertion. Your cells produce more protein while sleeping. STAY YOUNG & STRONG: SLEEP.
DISEASE PREVENTION – The connections to lack of sleep and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are profound. Sleep also helps your body stay in a calmer state, reducing stress and anxiety. STAY CALM & SLEEP ON.
You can improve virtually every function of your mind and body by making a few small tweaks to your bedtime routine:
TIPS FOR HOW TO SLEEP BETTER:
- COZY COMFORT. A quality mattress, good sheets (we love Peacock Alley), soft blankets and cool temperature will reduce annoying distractions and help you relax.
- TURN OFF TECH at least 1 hour before going to bed. That type of light really affects your sleep….which leads me to:
- COMPLETE DARKNESS. If your room isn’t completely dark, consider a sleep mask. This will also increase your natural production of melatonin, a sleep inducer and cancer fighter.
- SKIP OR REDUCE CAFFEINE. Caffeine not only prevents you from falling asleep at night initially, but also decreases the amount of restful sleep.
- EASY ON THE ALCOHOL & SUGAR. Alcohol feels like a sedative at first as it slows motor and brain function, but as it’s metabolized acetaldehyde is produced, which acts like a stimulant.
- BATHS. Bathing with Epsom salts (and lavender oil) is a great way to prepare for a restful night of sleep. An evening bath is a beautiful ritual that nourishes mind, body and spirit, and disrupts less healthy habits.
- EXERCISE. Fit in 20-30 min of moderate exercise daily, but several hours before bed. Try simple yoga stretches daily. It can dramatically increase your sleep quality.
- CLEAR YOUR MIND. Hit the reset button on your mind. Before going to bed, journal. Try a guided sleep meditation from HeadSpace. If you can’t fall asleep after lying in bed for 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing for 15-30 minutes before returning to bed.
- SLEEP ENHANCING SUPPLEMENTS like magnesium (CALM Tea). It is a great way to stay regular, quell anxiety, treat menstrual cramps, allay menopausal symptoms. Also, 300mg of passionflower or 320mg of valerian root extract before bed can relax and help you sleep better.
Bottom line? Get at least 7 to 9 HOURS of sleep every night. You really are NOT one of those people who only needs 5 hours of sleep. It’s just not possible. Good sleep helps you shed fat, keep disease at bay, and stay focused. When it comes to your overall health, focus, weight, and immunity, radiant GEMs know SLEEP IS WHERE IT’S AT!