On getting a good night’s sleep
Feeling groggy? Feeling less awake than you did last night right before you fell asleep? Sleep for a long time?
If you said yes to any of those questions, you may want to pay more attention to your precious z-time.
We all understand that sleep is important – if it wasn’t necessary, we likely wouldn’t spend almost 8 hours everyday doing it. Yet, we often aren’t too sure why we it’s so important and thus, like to play around with it a little…or a lot.
We may decide to pull an all-nighter (which is the worst possible thing you can do before a test or exam…I will explain next post…if I remember), or party until 3 AM, or take sleeping aids (this includes alcohol), or drink more caffeine to make until the wee hours. To make up for lost sleep we may squeeze in a nap during the day, but more likely, we’ll just drink more caffeine.
All of the above mess with either the quantity or quality of our sleep, making us less effective the following day and likely a few days after. Sleep aids actually prevent you from getting into REM sleep, an important and necessary part of sleep for brain growth, development, and restoration.
So what can you do?
- Keep a consistent sleep and wake time (I know this is hard, but it will reduce the likelihood of sleep debt)
- Watch your alcohol intake
- Don’t drink caffeine after 2 PM (and limit it to 2 cups)
- Get away from using sleep aids
- Don’t eat a large meal or sugar close to bed time
- Try to limit television, iPad, and laptop use 1-2 hours before bed
I encourage you to make some adjustments over the next couple of weeks and document what happens. If you’re still waking up exhausted, it may be time to talk to your doctor and participating in a sleep study. You may have a sleep disorder that’s preventing you from getting some decent zzz’s (or however you spell it).
p.s. if you’re a lady between 40-65 years young living in Calgary, register today for Ladies Get Active challenge at http://www.ladiesgetactive.wordpress.com.