It is no secret that I am apart of Shredder Nation, which is the group of supporters of the Shred Diet and Super Shred by Dr. Ian Smith. Last year I lost 25 pounds and I am working in the next 25 right now. We have now set up smaller groups of 20 people where we support each other, and my group is Weapons of Mass Reduction. I so love the name. One of my fellow group members noticed that her Fitbit reports that she wakes up constantly throughout the night. It sparked a discussion in our group, so I decided to write a post about healthy sleeping habits. Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of health issues (see picture below). When working with my clients who have sleeping issues I always assess their sleeping habits and develop a plan to address the issue. Here are my recommendations to them regarding their sleeping.
1) Set a scheduled time to go to bed and wake up daily, including weekends. Your body needs consistency. Even when my work hours varied, my body adjusted and knew that on Tuesday and Thursdays I had to get up at 4:30AM versus Mondays and Wednesdays when I did not get up until 7AM.
2) The bedroom should be for sleeping and special time with your significant other. Try not to watch television, read, work, etc. in your bedroom. In fact, it is recommended that you do not watch television for 30 minutes to an hour prior to bed. Television stimulates the brain.
3) Develop a nightly routine prior to going to bed and complete it in the same order. Your body will develop a habit where when you begin the first thing it will signal to the brain that it is time to settle down and prepare for sleep. This routine should begin 30 minutes to an hour before your bedtime.
4) Keep your room at a lower temperature. During the night, our bodies can become overheated. Having the room at a lower temperature or buying one of those cooling pillows will help.
5) If you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot sleep, either lie in bed and relax, or get up and do something in another room for a while. Something new I have incorporated is taking a shower with lavender body wash. It has been helpful.
6) If your mind is constantly going, keep a pad by your bed where you can write them down. This keeps you from worrying about forgetting.
7) Consider some relaxation techniques such as aromatherapy, music therapy, or meditation. At times even when I cannot sleep I can lay in bed with soothing music and still feel rested in the morning.
8) Exercise also helps with sleeping, but it is recommended that no exercise occur two hours prior to going to sleep.
Check out some of my suggestions and let me know if they work for you!