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Sleep, Rest & Self-Care

As we get rid of inflammation, not only is what we eat so important, but sleep is also one of the most important things we can do for our health. The other day, I talked about exercise and nutrition and how they go hand in hand. But did you know how much your sleep and rest play into this equation, too? Studies show that lack of sleep can cause health issues, such as obesity and diabetes. When we sleep, our brains release hormones that help with our hunger levels, memory, and immune system. Getting 7- 8 hours of sleep daily is not only important, it is the key to a healthy lifestyle.

How well do you sleep? Do you fall asleep easily, and then wake in the middle of the night, tossing and turning and unable to fall back asleep? Or do have trouble shutting off your thoughts and going to sleep? We all have restless nights from time to time. It is important to set the right environment for sleep. This means setting the same bedtime every night and waking around the same time every morning. It also means keeping your phone or electronic devices out of your bedroom. The blue light emitted can be very disruptive to your sleep pattern. You also want to avoid any stimulants like caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol which may initially make you fall asleep, but can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. Our circadian rhythm is our 24-hour internal clock, which is also known as our sleep/wake cycle. It is controlled by the hypothalamus in our brain, and also outside factors like light and dark. The more we regulate our sleep cycles, the better we will feel!

Besides sleep at night, rest during the day and self-care is vital to our happiness and peace. Try to take time out during the day to rest. Some good ways to give yourself a break are:

• Taking a walk mid-day

• Getting a Massage

• Taking a bath with Epsom salt at night before bedtime

• Journaling

• Meditation

Here’s to a better night's sleep and taking time out of the day to care for you!

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