Tips for Optimal Sleep Hygiene
Along with proper nutrition and exercise, getting a good night's sleep is often ignored when we think of our health. Proper sleep supports the brain and memory, healthy weight management, hormone balance, energy and mood, as well as a healthy immune system.
Here are some tips to get your best night's sleep!
Your body's circadian rhythm, or internal clock, wants regularity. Create a daily routine and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This will enhance both your sleep quantity and quality.
Avoid Accumulating "Sleep Debt"
Have you ever spent the weekend partying or working late on assignments and you got less sleep than you should have? Then you tried to make up for those nights by sleeping more the following nights. This actually has a term called "Sleep Debt" and this occurs when you attempt to “make up” sleep that you have missed out on in the last couple of days. This is not suggested as you only tend to make up half of what you lost. Also the more nights with less sleep, the increased likelihood of implications such as hormone and weight changes.
Have a Wind Down Routine
Sleep is not light a light switch. It has a physiological process and it is a gradual descent. It is important to set a wind-down routine at night to prepare for a good night's rest. You can even set an alarm 15 minutes before bedtime to finish up what you are doing and prepare to wind down. Your wind-down routine can incorporate reading, listening to a book or podcast, meditation, stretches, or whatever puts you in a sleepy and relaxed state! Find what works for you and stick to that routine.
Keep The Temperature Cooler
Before going to bed at night, it is beneficial to turn down the temperature. Sleep has been shown to be optimal if your body is cool, your brain and body need to drop core temp by 2-3 degrees F to initiate and stay asleep. It would be beneficial to set your thermostat to around 65 F for benefits!
Shut Off Screens
We are a dark deprived society as most of the day we are staring at screens. We need darkness in the evening to increase melatonin release to promote restful sleep. Too much screen time can inhibit melatonin release and signal to the body it is still daytime. This can be extremely disruptive to your circadian rhythm. In the last hour before bed stay away from screens or use Blue Light Blockers.
Forget the Snooze Button
Avoid hitting the snooze button in the morning. Although you may feel like you need the extra couple of minutes in the morning, the cardiovascular response to an alarm is a very stressful event for your body! When that alarm goes off, your heart rate will jump and there is a neurochemical increase in the body. When pressing the snooze button over and over again, you are repeatedly assaulting your cardiovascular system.
Certified Nutrition Specialist and Licensed Dietician/Nutritionist Jessica Mantell
NextGeneration Nutrition believes that better health should be accessible to everyone and that we all are able to improve our health through good nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle change. We do not support setting shame-based goals but encourages embracing our bodies, genetics, and personality. Our philosophy is abandoning the “One Size Fits All” mentality to create a personalized wellness plan based on your biological makeup and your lifestyle. For more information connect with us on Social Media or send us a message!
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