Sleep deprivation is associated with all sorts of chronic diseases. Obesity, insulin resistance, impulsivity, impaired immune system, mental illness as well as the brain fog, lack of motivation, poor decision making and hormonal dysregulation are all consequences of not getting enough sleep! Here's a list of things you can try to help you safeguard your sleep.
1. Set a bedtime and wake up time for yourself.
2. Turn off the screens well before bedtime so you lessen your exposure to blue light.
3. Get in 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week. Preferably, you'd break this up evenly through most of the days.
4. Make your room dark. Turn off or cover up all the lights. Get black out curtains if you need them to block the outside lights.
5. Stick to a bedtime routine-wash your face, brush your teeth, change to your PJs, read a book, stretch a little, do a meditation. Make a set of behaviors that trigger your body that it's time to sleep.
6. Don't nap during the day. Naps are very rarely a good thing for your sleep at night. If you're needing a nap during the day you're either not eating correctly or not getting enough sleep. Pinpoint the reason behind your fatigue so you can have energy throughout your day.
7. No caffeine in the afternoon. Particularly, after 2pm or so caffeine can have the unwanted affect of making it hard for you to fall asleep. If you need a quick burst of energy in the afternoon try moving your body, stretching or listening to upbeat music.
8. Make a to do list for the next day. Some of you have so much going on in your mind about the next day that you can't fall asleep. If you need to, keep a pen and paper by your bed to jot your random thoughts down so you can stop worrying about forgetting tomorrow and start your restful sleep!
9. Cool off the bedroom. Making your bedroom a little cooler at night will signal your body that it's time to sleep. Having a lower body temperature is a natural part of your circadian rhythm.
10. Mind your mind. Manage stress, anxiety, depression and any other mood disorder you may have in order to get the best sleep. In fact, if you're chronically sleep deprived you may find your mental illness greatly improves your disappears when you get better rest.
Get those ten things going as part of safeguarding your sleep and you'll be well on your way to being rested and refreshed.