Hey friends, so happy you are here for the first Wellness Wednesday. I am excited to get started on this journey together.
I feel that it is important to start our journey to wellness in our lives and homes at the foundation, sleep.
We are not all the same , therefore, our sleep requirements vary. According to the National Sleep Foundation,” adults between ages 26-64 need somewhere between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night in order to function well.”
This is why I chose to begin this journey of wellness talking about sleep.
Are you aware of how many hours of sleep you are actually getting each night?
I began using a Fitbit that tracks your sleep several months ago and was very surprised to see just how little I was sleeping.
My Fitbit sleep tracker showed that I averaged 5 hours and 48 minutes of sleep a night with only 44 minutes of that in a deep sleep. It was time to make some changes.
According to the National Institute of Health, “sleep plays a vital role in our good health throughout life.” Getting enough sleep can aid in protecting our mental, physical and quality of life.”
Lack of quality sleep can lead to a life of chronic health problems and affect your everday life.
Here are just a few examples of what can happen when we suffer from lack of sleep:
- weight gain
- poor concentration and productivity
- poor exercise performance
- greater risk of heart disease and or stroke
- kidney disease
- high blood pressure
Of course there are many factors that can lead to problems with sleep such as; menopause, stress, sleep apnea, insomnia, lack of activity as well as external factors.
We live in a busy society where we are constantly connected to our phones and our computers, that could also be adding to our lack of sleep.
Our smartphones, computers and Ipads emit large amounts of blue light that actually affect our sleep if exposed prior to sleeping.
This light makes the brain think it is still day time, therefore making it difficult to relax, wind down and fall asleep.
You can purchase special glasses that block the blue light or purchase an app called f.lux for your laptop or computer that will block the blue light.
One hour prior to going to bed cut all devices off if you do not need to be on them so the blue light will not affect your sleep.
If you are not waking in the morning feeling refreshed and recharged for the day ahead, then there are some simple steps you can take to set you up for a great nights sleep.
Steps to a better nights sleep
- don’t consume caffeine late in the day
- reduce long naps during the day
- be consistent in your to sleep and wake times
- don’t consume alcohol
- set your bedroom temperature
- take a relaxing bath or shower
- diffuse lavendar or spray lavendar on your sheets prior to getting into bed
- Magnesium can improve relaxation and improve sleep quality
- increase natural sunlight during the daytime
- exercise daily
- evaluate your mattress and pillows for comfort and consider if it may be time to replace those items
- use a noise machine or if you have an Amazon Alexa, that can be turned into a noise machine in a few simple steps.
How to use your Amazon Alexa as a noise machine:
If you have Amazon Prime Music or Spotify you can add this to your Alexa by going to the IOS/Android app and open skills menu, search for ambient noise and click enable.
There are twelve difference skills (sounds) to choose from.
As you embark on better wellness in your lives and homes, it is also important to take a look at your bedroom.
Is the space relaxing or is it cluttered?
Be sure your nightstand or bedside table only has a few items on it and has open space.
If you are one that goes to bed with a lot on your mind, then it would be a good idea to keep a journal and pen handy to write down your thoughts in order to clear your mind before going to sleep.
Of course if you try several of these tips and you feel your still not getting adequate quality sleep, then it may be time to contact your physician to see if there are medical reasons behind the problem.
These tips may seem so simple, and I am clearly not a doctor, but have found over the last 6 months that they have really helped me in getting a better nights sleep.
This is just the beginning of creating a life of wellness in our lives and homes. I am excited to continue on this journey with you.
Till next time