Good morning wellness warriors! Its early and some of you may just be waking up. Hopefully your night’s sleep was restful and restorative, but if it wasn’t today’s post might provide some insight.
Last week we started talking about the importance of sleep and making sure we are getting enough of it. As an entrepreneur, I know how much we struggle with trying to maximize our days and extend our waking hours. I constantly have to remind myself how counter intuitive this is and the vicious cycle it creates. So, this week I’m going to share three tips for a better night’s sleep. Being able to hit deeper levels of sleep, allows us to wake feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day without copious amounts of caffeine and stimulants.
Tip 1: Get the dog out of the dog house
Yes, I know there is debate around whether or not you should allow your dog to sleep on the bed. If you suffer from asthma or allergies, this may not be the best idea, however if this isn’t the case continue reading.
While it may be annoying when you can’t pull the blankets because of the dog sleeping on top of them (I can attest to that, having two of them) there are numerous benefits to cuddle sessions with your pooch. They provide extra warmth, comfort and a sense of safety. Bonus, you may be able to lower the thermostat and save on the electricity bill!
The comfort and loyalty of dogs can help relieve feelings of depression. Our dogs are always there to provide unconditional love and loyalty, especially during hard times. When the going gets tough and friends or family are unable to provide those feelings of support, the comfort of your dog can help lift feelings of depression on those dark nights.
Also, listening to their rhythmic breathing helps us relax and feel safe. It provides a deeper sense of comfort helping us drift off to sleep faster and achieve deeper levels of sleep. Plus, the days are always a little brighter when waking up to their cute little faces.
Don’t have a dog? Check out your local shelter, there are tons of animals in search of a good home. #adoptdontshop
Tip 2: Lose the Pj’s
I know, you may love your pj’s. You know, the flannel ones with the sleeping kittens on them, the ones you love paring with your favorite fuzzy socks. Let’s keep those for getting cozy in front of the TV. When it comes to sleeping, studies show they may actually be doing you a disservice.
If you and your partner both sleep naked, the skin-to-skin contact causes the release of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone. It can help lower blood pressure, decrease stress, and even fight depression. Plus, elevated oxytocin levels will cause… ahem… better sex. Sleeping alone? Don’t worry there are still plenty of other reasons to ditch the nightie.
Sleeping naked helps our bodies regulate body temperatures which helps us maintain normal cortisol levels. Lower cortisol levels help reduce weight gain, especially belly fat, and can reduce food cravings. Our body temperature normally drops when we sleep, allowing for a more restful night’s sleep. However, wearing clothes may cause our bodies to overheat and prevent us from reaching our optimal body temperature and achieving a restful night’s sleep. Disruptions in our sleep cycle caused by unstable body temperature is a cause of insomnia, especially when we sleep it tight underwear or synthetic fabrics.
Maintaining optimal body temperature while you sleep also causes the release of melatonin and growth hormones, making you look and feel younger. I’m down for more of that!
3. Get horizontal before 10pm
The deepest and most restorative sleep cycle generally occurs between 10pm and 2am. Melatonin is secreted and triggered by darkness, exposure to artificial light reduces the amount of melatonin that is secreted. Melatonin levels peak around midnight and decreased afterwards. The later you go to sleep the short your cycle of restorative and regenerative sleep will be causing you to feel more fatigued in the morning.
Adding to that, our bodies trigger different metabolic functions and hormones when we lay ourselves down to rest. Pushing past 10pm to get in those last few emails or watch one more episode of Scandal brings on the dreaded “second wind”. Plus, the exposure to additional light during this period will continue to affect the secretion of melatonin giving you a poorer quality of sleep when you do finally get to bed.
So there you have it, 3 simple tips you can take for better snoozing. Which will you try first? Have different tips, what helps you get a better night’s sleep? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and using my little corner of the internet to further your well-being. If any part of this was beneficial for you, and you feel it could positively impact someone else, I’d be honored if you’d share it.
Need help with your health & wellness goals? Someone to hold your hand through the process and give you the how-to’s to transform your life? Contact me to schedule a free coaching session.
Sweet dreams friends,