In my last blog post I talked about the importance of getting good quality sleep and ways that you can track the time spent in 3 stages of sleep: Light, Deep and REM. In the next couple of blog posts, I am going to talk about different things you can do to improve the quality of sleep you get each night.
I have spoken about my own experience with stress this year and one of the biggest factors that pushed me to where I was, was the fact I wasn’t sleeping well night after night. I would sit and analyse the day that had just passed, usually in a negative manner and then move onto the day ahead instead of ‘switching off’ and letting my brain rest.
The following are steps that I took to change things about my lifestyle that were affecting my sleep. They are not big changes but little things that made a big difference for me.
1. Establishing a consistent sleep and wake schedule:
This is important as the body has its own 24 hour internal clock called your Circadian Rhythm which directs the brain to control when you feel alert or tired. It’s and works best when your sleep and wake time is consistent and the hours of sleep you get each night remain the same. Implementing this small change, even on the weekends, will lead to you waking up easier and feeling more refreshed and energised.
2. Increase the amount of sun exposure you get each day:
Natural sunlight also helps keep your Circadian Rhythm healthy as it reinforces it natural rhythm. Your body recognizes when to release cortisol to energize your body from the sun to wake you up and then once the sun sets, your body produces Melatonin to get you ready for sleep.
Direct sun exposure on your skin also triggers your body to produce its own Vitamin D which is critical for your body’s mental and physical health and deficiency can cause disrupted and restless sleep. Aim to get anywhere from 10-30 minutes of sunlight each day. You will notice a change in how you feel especially if you are indoors all day under artificial light.
These are just 2 steps that you can implement immediately into your daily routine. Give them a try!
Yours in Health