Sleep Success With These Tips For Your Best Life
I want to share some ideas for sleep success because it is one of the most forgotten aspects of holistic health! When I took my HLC 1 course in 2008, sleep was considered the forgotten or throw away health practice. Today getting good consistent sleep is more of a health and well-being issue than ever before.
Over the past few years my sleep habits have not necessarily been what I would like them to be, and today I had the chance to be reminded of the vital importance of sleep success with Sarah Ballantyne of The Paleo Mom.
When you think of holistic health and sleep success you must first begin to ask yourself the following questions. How does stress affect your body at a cellular level? What is the role that sleep plays on our well-being? What is the role that connection and social structure play on our well-being? How does physical activity play a role in our sleep success? Do real whole foods play a role in our sleep and our holistic health? We say yes for sure! Let’s explore.
Sleep Success The Forgotten Pillar of Health
Let’s start with the idea of lifestyle changes for your best nights sleep. This will be a multi-pronged approach to consider. Here is what I mean. Lifestyle changes will include making changes to your diet, sleep, stress, exercise. Now you do not have to make all the changes at once. In fact, I highly recommend you don’t make all the changes at once. Changes made step by step with the intention to make them an ingrained habit are the most successful lifestyle changes you will make.
When I made lifestyle changes they were done one step a time except when it came to diet. The biggest, most positive changes in my diet were when I eliminated all wheat, grains, and gluten. I did this all at once. Now my initial commitment was a thirty-day experiment to see for myself if I would experience any difference in how I felt. And within four or five days I felt like a different person. This is the benefit to making dietary changes all at once. You will feel the positive changes immediately if they are right for you.
Sarah was able to research the Paleo Diet through her science background and realized it was the best choice for her and her family. And I definitely agree because I feel the same way about the paleo diet.
We seem so ready to sacrifice our sleep success for anything.
Lack of sleep is such a profound issue in our society today. It is not something that is discussed.
- Social Life
- Social Media
- Our Favorite Television Show
- Kid-Free Time
- And So Much More….
The phrases we say today that promote the idea of a lack of sleep. For example, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. Now frankly this is just frightening that we as a society believe this one. Or how about “Sleep is for the week”. Now this one will most certainly create shame if it is believed.
Sleep Success Is Critical For Well-Being
I listened to an interview many years ago with Robb Wolf and he stated that if people just got more sleep, most of the health issues today would just disappear. Imagine how simply sleep success can be if we begin to realize it?
The body responds to healthy sleep and lets us know immediately by holding us together.
Sarah says: ” There is much info from the scientific literature regarding the health benefits of getting enough sleep.” She goes on to say, ” When you look at the literature around sleep there is unequivocally a minimum amount we need and we are not getting it.”
She then went on to say, ” There is very likely a stronger direct link between not getting enough sleep and the rise in chronic illness in society today than any of the direct factors like the foods like HFCS, Trans Fats or Omega 6 that we want to blame for our poor health.”
We NEED 7-9 hours of sleep each night and society average is 6 hours. This is sleep deprivation, anything that causes you to get less sleep than you need is an issue.
Lifestyle Changes For Healthy Living – Put Sleep Success On Your To Do List
Sleep or our lack of sleep has become the throwaway health issue and it is time to put it back on your to-do list. Make sleep a priority. You can do this first thing in the morning by getting outside for a least 30 minutes in the morning sun. Doing this is the critical signal for melatonin production in the evening and it will make or break the quality of your sleep. Stop reaching for the sugar and /or caffeine. We reach for these things because we feel exhausted (I know I have done this for sure) and they definitely mask how we really feel.
If we are not having sleep success we may consider napping. Now if we are getting enough sleep this won’t be a consideration, however, there is also the stigma around napping. This is changing because of Arianna Huffington for sure. She is a huge fan of napping for your well-being.
Sarah discussed the many health issues that are related to lack of sleep. Obesity, stroke, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, diabetes to name a few.
You can not make up sleep either. You must figure out what is the appropriate amount of sleep for you. And as humans, we do live around the rising of the sun and the moon. Getting up with the sun and going to sleep with the moon.
Society does not care if you have sleep success!
You do realize this, right? And your environment and behaviour may be causing issues rather than who you are. What I mean is, many people say they are “night owls” for example and they might not be. Maybe they just are out of sync? One example I have heard of to get back in sync for your sleep success would be to get out camping for a week or two with no electronic devices. Just be in nature and within a short period of time your circadian rhythm will be reset for your best sleep success.
Now, if you can’t get out camping for a few weeks consider the following, we all need a bedtime.
We MUST have a bed time for sleep success.
Without question. We need a wake-up time that works for our social commitments, like work, kids for example.
One way to achieve this is to figure out how much time you require for sleep success for you. Let’s use the example of eight hours sleep. So, if socially you must be awake at 7 am. Now you work backwards. To get your eight hours sleep and to be up at 7 am. you must be in bed by 11 pm. Then you need time to get ready for bed. How much time do you need to get ready? For me, I like about an hour to wind down and get ready for bed. Now decide what time you will eat dinner? Because you will want to eat dinner at least 3 hours before bed.
How do you know if you are succeeding at sleep success? If you wake up five minutes before your alarm clock goes off in the morning your circadian rhythm is bang on and sleep success is yours!
There you have it, sleep success in a nutshell for your well-being.