Updated: Jan 2
Do you wake up feeling groggy or have energy crashes during your day? Are you using caffeine and stimulants to push through your daily slumps? If you aren't getting the proper amount of deep sleep and then you are using stimulants because you are tired during the day, you are doing yourself more harm than good by robbing your energy stores and not replenishing them properly. Over the long term, this can set you up for poor immunity, hormonal imbalances and possibly lead to more drastic, chronic health conditions. Chronic lack of sleep over many years is linked to Alzheimer's, dementia, heart disease and stroke.
A lack of sleep can cause impaired memory and cognitive function that you may feel as 'brain fog'. And dragging through your day with stimulants to supply your energy can cause anxiety and does not allow you to be clear and relaxed. Sleep is one of the most important short and long term health habits that can affect every aspect of your life and health. If you want to learn how to improve sleep, keep reading for a few simple ways to set yourself on the right path to a good night's rest.
No Caffeine After Eleven A.M.
If you drink coffee, ideally you should have only one cup per day and in the morning no later than 11am. Caffeine stays in your system for about 20 hours, so if you drink coffee all day long you are creating a constant flow of caffeine even if you don't necessarily feel it. Then when you are sleeping, you are not going into the deep sleep healing state that you need to be in to wake up feeling rested in the morning.
Changing your caffeine intake habits can help you make drastic changes in your daytime energy as well as your nighttime rest. Try switching your afternoon coffee drink to decaf or an herbal tea if you like to sip on something warm. A great alternative that has no caffeine but a similar flavor to coffee is chicory root tea.
Sleep in a Cool, Dark Environment
Our sleep metabolism is dependent on our circadian rhythms which are influenced by our environments. The body rests more comfortably and deeply when the room temperature is around 60 to 67 degrees. Also pull the shades and darken any light that may come into your bedroom. If it is necessary, you may want to try sleeping with an eye mask. Total darkness is key to getting deep, restoring sleep.
Go to Bed and Wake Up at the Same Time Everyday
Even on the weekends! By following our natural circadian rhythms that follow the rhythms of nature, you can set yourself up for sleep success. Aim for being asleep by 10 or 10:30 every night and try to wake up naturally with the daylight about 8-9 hours later at 6 or 7 a.m. This may take some time and training, but stay consistent and you can reset your own natural rhythm.
If you have inconsistent and wakeful sleep or do not feel fully rested and need stimulants to get through your day, start keeping a sleep log and record bedtime and wake-up time, how long it approximately takes to fall asleep, how many times you were awake during the night and your energy levels during the day. Once you make some simple habit changes, refer back to your log to see if you have made any improvements.
When you are getting the proper amount of deep restorative sleep you are setting yourself up for increased energy, less brain fog and better overall health.
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About the Author
Kristi Ryan is the founder of Kristi Ryan Holistic Nutrition and the creator of the Abundant Energy Method for Busy Women. As a holistic nutrition and health coach specializing in energy wellness she supports, educates, motivates and empowers busy women with nutrition, mindset and lifestyle transformation using her proven methodology to bring abundant energy and vitality into their lives.
*Disclaimer: The information I share is for general information only and is not intended to replace medical advice. I do not diagnose, treat or cure disease, prescribe treatments or medications, or recommend medical treatment or surgery. You should speak to your physician prior to making any changes to your diet, lifestyle, exercise or medications or acting on anything you have read or discussed with me. If you don’t, you are doing so at your own risk.
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