Pro Sleep Tips: Boost Your Health This World Sleep Day

Mar 17, 2024 | Sleep

Are you struggling to get through the day on too little sleep? World Sleep Day is here to remind us to prioritize getting our zzz’s in. I’m passionate about helping you sleep your way to better health with these pro tips. You have the power to start living in a body and mind you love now! 

 

What is World Sleep Day? 

Have you heard of World Sleep Day? It’s still new to many of you! Established by the World Sleep Society, World Sleep Day aims to draw attention to the critical role sleep plays.

It’s celebrated globally on the Friday before Spring Equinox, this year falling on March 15th, 2024. It marks a time for both reflection and action toward better sleep and health practices. 

The purpose of World Sleep Day is clear: to educate the world about the importance of sleep, address sleep disorders, and promote healthy sleep habits for people of all ages. If you have been with me for some time, you know I am passionate about helping you sleep your way to better health. My messaging and World Sleep Day couldn’t be more in sync. 

Whether you battle restless, sleepless nights or are guilty of shaving off a few hours of sleep to cram in a few hours of chores or a Netflix binge, you will benefit from these pro sleep tips. 

World Sleep Day is an empowering reminder that your health deserves to be a priority. It’s not just about one day; it’s about bettering your nights to better your life.

 

Why is Sleep Important for Your Health? 

When you close your eyes every night, an intricate process begins. This process rejuvenates your body and mind. It’s during these precious hours of rest that your body can start repairing your cells, mend muscles, and heal your body from the inside out. 

Sleep acts as a natural detoxifier. As you drift through different sleep stages, your brain systematically clears out waste byproducts that accumulate throughout the day. This protects you from potential harm over time. 

You also need adequate sleep for storing your memories. It helps us process the day’s events and all the micro-moments we have taken in, consciously or subconsciously. Your brain consolidates everything you have learned, so you wake up with a clearer head and more developed mind. 

Our nightly rest also helps regulate hormones that control our appetite, mood and stress levels, reproduction, and growth. This delicate balance keeps our physical and emotional well-being in check. Without sufficient sleep, this balance is disrupted, impacting everything from your mood to metabolism.

A well-rested body fortifies its defenses against illness, giving you an immunity boost. Sleep enhances the function of T cells, a type of immune cell, giving you a better chance at fighting off infections, diseases, and chronic conditions.

This nightly maintenance ensures you wake up ready to face the world with renewed energy, focus, and vitality. Understanding this, it becomes clear why skimping on sleep is not an option. It’s not just about feeling rested; it’s about giving your body the time it needs to perform essential functions that keep you healthy.

 

Understanding Your Sleep Cycles: REM and Non-REM Phases

You probably have heard of REM sleep before, but did you know you go through several stages of sleep each night? All of which have their purpose and distinct qualities. Being aware of each phase will help you understand why prioritizing quality sleep is essential. 

NREM Stage 1

This initial phase, lasting several minutes, acts as the gateway between wakefulness and sleep. It’s a period of light sleep where your heartbeat, breathing, and eye movements slow. Your muscles relax with occasional twitches. In this stage, your brain begins its nightly restorative process, easing you into a state where repair and recovery are possible.

NREM Stage 2

Taking up approximately 50% of your sleep time, the NREM Stage 2 phase decreases your heart rate and body temperature further, preparing us for deep sleep. During this stage, your brain starts consolidating memories and skills learned during the day, required for learning and development. Hormones like cortisol begin to decrease while growth hormones are released, aiding in repair and growth.

NREM Stage 3

Known as deep sleep, this phase is important for physical recovery, immune function, and further hormone regulation. It’s the most challenging stage to be awakened from. Here, the body repairs muscles and tissues, stimulates growth and development and boosts immune function. Important hormones are released in higher quantities. This stage is key for energy restoration and overall health maintenance.

REM Sleep

The final phase, occurring about 90 minutes after falling asleep, is characterized by rapid eye movements, increased brain activity, and vivid dreams. This stage is essential for emotional and mental health, as the brain processes emotions, solidifies memories, and relieves stress. Neurotransmitters that regulate mood, such as serotonin and dopamine, are balanced during REM, highlighting its role in mental well-being. 

 

Sleep Better Starting Tonight: Top Tips for World Sleep Day

Improving your sleep starts with small, actionable changes that can make a huge difference in how you feel each day. They stack up to even bigger payoffs for your long-term health. 

There is no better time than World Sleep Day to really hunker down and take your sleep seriously. Here are my top tips to help you get the sleep of your dreams: 

Adhere to a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Synchronizing with your internal clock by maintaining regular sleep and wake times improves the quality of your sleep and overall alertness. This regularity helps balance your body’s production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for sleepiness, ensuring a smoother transition to sleep and reducing the likelihood of wakefulness at night. A consistent schedule also supports your mental health, reducing feelings of irritability and stress.

Optimize Your Sleep Environment

Your bedroom should be a sleep haven, but many of us use our bedroom as a hub to do chores, watch tv, or snack. This can signal to your brain that you’re not in the space to sleep. There are also factors for your room that can help promote better sleep quality. These can be simple like keeping the room cooler to mimic the natural dip in your temperature during sleep phases. Minimizing noise and light exposure through the use of blackout curtains or white noise machines can also prevent sleep disruptions. These small changes and more create an environment conducive to sleep, allowing for a deeper and more restorative rest.

Limit Evening Exposure to Blue Light

Blue light from screens, can seriously impact your sleep by inhibiting melatonin production. It also has been linked to diabetes and obesity. Focusing on activities that reduce blue light exposure, such as avoiding electronic devices an hour before bed, can help maintain your natural sleep cycle. This will allow your body to optimize your sleep hormones, aiding in faster sleep onset and improved long term health.

Establish a Pre-Bedtime Relaxation Routine

Engaging in a relaxing activity before bed can improve your ability to fall asleep. Activities that reduce stress and prepare your body for sleep, such as reading, deep breathing, or taking a warm bath, signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. This routine can decrease the time it takes to fall asleep by creating a mental and physical state conducive to rest.

Stay Physical Activity During The Day

Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins and decreases cortisol levels, improving your mood and decreasing stress. These are are often barriers to a good night’s rest. Timing your exercise earlier in the day or opting for gentle activities like yoga before bed can optimize its positive effects on sleep. Regular physical activity benefits sleep by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and increasing the duration of deep sleep. 

Be Mindful of Your Diet and Hydration

I’m sure you’ve heard that eating cheese before bed will give you some wild dreams. Well, what you eat and drink can, in fact, impact your sleep. Avoiding caffeine and heavy meals in the hours before bedtime can prevent sleep disturbances. Foods high in fat and sugar can disrupt your sleep cycle, while choices rich in magnesium and potassium can support muscle relaxation and sleep quality. Hydration will always be highly recommended, but limiting fluids before bed reduces the chances of waking to use the bathroom during the night. 

Address Stress and Anxiety

Managing stress through techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, prayer, or journaling can profoundly affect your sleep. These practices help calm the mind and reduce the physiological symptoms of stress and the flood of cortisol accompanying it. It helps create a peaceful state more conducive to falling and staying asleep.

Assess and Upgrade Your Sleep ‘Equipment’

The quality and suitability of your mattress, pillows, duvet, and sheets shouldn’t be overlooked, but often are. An unsupportive mattress or pillow can lead to discomfort and misalignments that disturb your sleep and also contribute to long-term issues with posture and muscle stiffness. This creates a negative feedback loop as the discomfort from misalignment and stiffness can also make it challenging to get or stay comfortable for sleep.

Choosing a duvet that’s too heavy for the season can lead to overheating, while one that’s too light might not provide enough warmth, both of which can disrupt your sleep cycle. Likewise, breathable and soft sheets can enhance your sleep environment, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

Investing in sleep equipment that caters to your specific needs and preferences is more than superficial. It will benefit your health. Take the opportunity to pick out aesthetic colors and patterns so you can’t wait to cozy up in bed! Be sure to check out my Recommended Sleep Products to find the perfect sleep equipment for you!

Incorporate Herbal Supplements

Turning to herbal supplements can be a natural way to support your sleep. Ingredients like valerian root, lavender, and chamomile have been used for generations. They’re known for their calming and sleep-promoting properties. Melatonin supplements can also aid in regulating your sleep-wake cycle, which is especially helpful for those experiencing jet lag or shift work disruptions. Always be sure to speak with a professional before starting any new supplement. You can book a Health Discovery Call with me to discuss which supplement might be best for you. 

 

Get My FREE Sleep Guide to Optimize Your Health While You Sleep

If you’re looking to step up your sleep game or just tired of trying everything and still struggling to fall and stay asleep each night, you’re not alone. After helping so many patients like you, I have curated a FREE Sleep Guide to help you get the restorative sleep your body craves. 

 

Don’t let another sleepless night affect your health. Download your FREE Sleep Guide today and start your journey to better sleep and a healthier, happier you.

 

 


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