Rest is the most underrated but most important ingredient for living a happier and healthier life. Most people focus on eating right and exercising more, but if you are not taking time to rest and recover—you can only get so far.
Sleeping is the number one way to heal the body and age well. It is also the key to keeping the immune system healthy.
A recent study found that when mice were deprived of sleep, they didn’t die of exhaustion, they died of infection/illness.
Forget about anti-aging--we are all aging whether we like it our not. However, the real question is how are we are aging—and whether we are aging well?
Here are 10 Steps to Better Sleep
Understand That Sleep Is Important
- Lack of sleep is the fastest way to age the human body.
- Poor sleep destroys the mind and body and can affect our hormones, health and even the way we look.
- One of the most powerful ways to enhance your performance in almost anything you do in life is to get a good night’s sleep.
Create A Regular Schedule
- Aim for 7-8 hours each night.
- Plan your sleep and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each night.
"Research suggests that when we get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, we are happier, healthier, more productive, and are able to perform better in all aspects of life."
- Sunlight stimulates the pineal gland which regulates our sleep hormone called melatonin. This hormone is essential in helping the body relax. During the day melatonin levels are low but as nighttime approaches and darkness sets in melatonin levels rise preparing our bodies for sleep.
Create An Amazing Sleep Environment
- Make the room completely dark and limit stimulating blue light such as TVs, iphones, computers, etc. Our bodies associate this type of light with day time which can suppress melatonin.
- Make the room quiet or add white noise like a fan or noise machine.
- Decrease temperature in the room. Ideal sleeping temperature is 65 degrees F. Cooler temperatures can help the body slow down and relax.
Focus On Your Breathing
- Diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing stimulates the vagus nerve helping to lower blood pressure, slow down heart rate and relax the mind and body. While laying in bed, focus on breathing with the belly versus the chest by inhaling through the nose letting the belly fill with air. Breathe out through the nose letting the belly deflate with air and repeat.
- Water helps with digestion, metabolism and is essential for keeping us healthy from the inside out.
- Water also helps to balance pH and maintain mineral stores.
- Minerals help to restore pH balance and help to decrease inflammation and pain.
- Replenish pH by adding calming minerals like magnesium.
- Magnesium rich foods include: wheatgrass, spirulina/chorella, leafy greens, cacao, dried figs, and raisins.
- Learn more about Magnesium rich foods here.
- Espom salt is one of the highest sources of magnesium but must be absorbed through the skin.
Add Healthy Fats
- Healthy omega 3 fats like cod liver oil, flaxseeds, and chia seeds all play a role in relaxation along with hormonal balance and brain health all of which contribute to a great night’s sleep.
- Stress can affect our sleep and hormonal balance.
- Regular exercise has a way of burning up added stress and energy allowing for a calming effect post exercise.