There is a lot that we cannot control right now but we are still in control of our response to what is going on around us. Most of us are spending more time at home and trying to come up with ideas to stay busy, keep kids entertained, and maintain our immune systems.
One of the best ways is improve overall well-being stems from good sleep. I know everyone is not in a season where prioritizing sleep is an option (Any moms out there?) but if you are, it is crucial for your immune system. Mayo Clinic recommends adults to sleep 7-9 hours per night. The recommended sleep time can assist stabilizing blood sugar, fighting germs, weight control, boasts mood, sharpens brain activity, fosters a healthier heart, maximizes athletic achievement, and reduces stress/inflammation.
I am sure many know the importance of sleep but may not know where to start. Seeing as most of us are practicing “social distancing”, it is a great time to put new habits into practice
One of the biggest changes I made over the last few years concerning sleep, stems from paying attention to what I am drinking and eating. I routinely consumed caffeine until 4 PM but now stop at noon. I also decided to start drinking half caffeinated and half decaf coffee and limiting my coffee consumption to 2 cups a day. It made a tremendous impact on my sleep.
I also talked about intermittent fasting (IF) in another post, but not eating past 7 PM makes a difference on my sleep. Now if I eat later or eat a heavy meal close to bed time, it takes me a lot longer to fall asleep. There are other habits for better sleep hygiene I hope to share with you all in the future, possibly for Tip Thursday. For now, I’ll list some common ones, challenge you to pick one, and commit to trying it for a week and then maybe extend to a month.
Remember set yourself up for success.
You know yourself the best, what you need, and how to realistically tackle it in your season of life. Limit naps, create a restful environment (dark and quiet room with a temperature around 65F), include physical activity in daily routine, stick to a sleep schedule (even in weekends), limit caffeine in late afternoon/evening, avoid consuming alcohol before bed, eat dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime, and limit electronic use at least 30 minutes before bedtime.