Did you know that as many as 1 in 7 Canadians have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. Are you one of them? Many people take the benefits of sleep for granted. Proper sleep is key to keeping your body and mind healthy, it’s the time when your body rebuilds, repairs and recharges. When you’re asleep, your immune system is most active and repairs what it needs to, while your brain re-organizes your cerebral ‘files’. On average, we should be getting about 7 – 9 hours a day but many of us are getting far less.
Poor sleep can certainly make us grumpy and irritable, but it also has a significant impact on our overall health.
Lack of sleep can:
- Disrupt hormone levels and increase your risk of cancer
- Increase your risk for heart attack and stroke
- Increase your blood pressure
- Increase your risk of developing diabetes
- Decrease your energy
- Reduce your memory ability
- Cause you to gain weight
- Contribute to depression
- Prevent your body from healing wounds and sunburns
The good news is small changes can make a big difference to your sleep. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Keep a schedule. Do your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. This will help train your body to sleep on a schedule.
- Create a bedtime routine to let your body know it’s time for bed! Your routine could include relaxing activities like: meditation, deep breathing, a warm bath or reading. The key is to find something that helps your to relax and release any tension from the day.
- Exercise daily. Research has shown that daily exercise helps you to fall asleep quicker and to sleep more soundly.
- Avoid bedtime snacks especially grains and sugar. These will raise blood sugar and may hinder sleep. If you have to snack, choose a high protein option such as a whey protein shake. This will provide the L-tryptophan needed to produce serotonin and melatonin, which will actually help you sleep,
- Avoid screen time before bed. TV, video games, and even social media can stimulate your brain and make it difficult to fall asleep.
- Make preparations for the next day. Before heading to bed, make your To Do list for the next day so that you don’t have to think about it when you’re trying to fall asleep.
- See your Wellness Chiropractor. Your nervous system is your body’s master system. It controls every cell, tissue and organ in your body! Any interference in your nervous system caused by spinal misalignments can have a major impact on your sleep and your body’s ability to recuperate.
What will you do to start improving your sleep – tonight? Be sure to share in the comments section below. I’d love to hear your sleep success story. As always, feel free to share this blog with anyone you know who could benefit from some sleep tips. Until next time … Sweet Dreams!