We listened to a Facebook talk from our friend, and fellow health care provider, Heather van der Geest the other day regarding the importance of healthy sleep habits. Dr. Heather is a naturopathic physician in Vancouver and is a wealth of knowledge. We wanted to share some highlights to help you around your sleep routine.
WHY IS SLEEP SO IMPORTANT
A lack of sleep can lead to poor blood sugar control leading to cravings, weight gain and decreased insulin sensitivity. When we don’t get a good night’s rest, we are quicker to grab snacks with higher sugar content for a quick (and short lived) pick-me-up.
Hormone imbalances are created from poor sleep habits. Our hormones are very important and regulate our reproductive organs, digestion, growth, sleep, and stress. We want to be good to our hormones.
Alcohol allows us to fall asleep quickly, but prevents us from dropping into that deep sleep cycle. Drinking in the evenings can leave us feeling unrested the next day
Exposure to light in the evening delays our sleep cycle because it stops our melatonin production. This is why phones and computers can make sleep difficult.
HEALTHY HABITS TO START TONIGHT
Spend appropriate time sleeping, not too much and not too little, aim for around 8 hours
Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day (sunrise if possible) which will help prevent day time tiredness
Short naps of around 20-30min is completely fine!
Stopping work or stressful work 1-2 hours before bedtime is helpful to quiet a busy time
Stretching or light reading or meditation before bed can be beneficial to calm the body and mind
Starting to dim lights and get ready for bedtime a couple hours before bed
Light music, sleepy time tea, or using lavender essential oil to help create a parasympathetic response will help support rest and digest (parasympathetic mode)
Avoiding alcohol close to bedtime
Avoid foods that are really heavy, rich, fried, or spicy
Add a filter onto computer or phone before bed, or use blue light blocking glasses to help prevent melatonin (sleep hormone) imbalances
Avoid using your bedroom to do work. When you go in there your brain will confuse the area with work time and wake up!
Turn phone off and away from your bed because EMF decrease the ability to sleep
Cool temperature in the bedroom is key! Warm environments are not conducive to sleep
Get adequate day time light and exercise in during the day
We can’t wait to incorporate these tips into our nightly routine!
As always, if you have any questions about your conditions and would like to schedule an appointment with us at Baseline Health and Wellness you can give us a call at 6046744027 or schedule online at www.baselinewellness.ca
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