Get Some Shuteye for Goodness Sake!

Yawn... Good evening yogis!

Anna taking a snooze!

Anna taking a snooze!

Why isn’t there more time in the day?  To be productive, to spend time with our kids, to work, to catch up on our addicting TV series, to work out, to see friends.  There’s so much to do, how can we make ourselves go to bed early?! It seems impossible to sleep for the recommended 7-9 hours doesn’t it?  I’m finding it so difficult lately actually!  The benefits have been told to us over and over before, so don’t mind me as I give you a brief reminder.  Sleeping 7-9 hours each night can improve your memory, attention span and learning capacity.  It can curb inflammation in your body, and aid muscular performance through your day.  Sleeping can help you maintain a healthy weight too!  Metabolism and sleep are controlled by the same sectors of the brain and cortisol levels are heightened when you are tired.  Have you ever noticed that when you’re tired you eat more food? Sleep plays a part in our cholesterol, our blood pressure, and our mental stability/moods!  Wow.  If you'll excuse me, I think it’s my bed time…

My little niece, Anna!

My little niece, Anna!

Time for solutions… Tips from someone who loves the feeling after getting 8 actual hours of sleep.

Turn off your electronics and TV at least 30 minutes before going to bed.  The lights omitted from our cell phones, computers, and televisions awaken the pineal gland in our brains, thus keeping our minds active.  This is really hard to do, I understand.  But think of how great you’ll feel in the morning! Facebook status’s will still be there in the morning and you’ll feel refreshed enough to look at them in the AM. Your smart phones and tablets are still running through the night. Make sure to place them at least 2 feet from your bed, close out all applications, flip the screen facedown, and turn it on silent!  Not vibrate – I don’t know how that doesn’t drive people crazy.  It’s like you’re asking to be woken up in the middle of the night!! Turn your alarm clock away from your bed too so that light isn’t messing with you while you’re trying to get some Z’s!  
Avoid caffeine after noon and limit your alcohol intake.  We think we sleep so much better after a few drinks, but really this isn’t the case.  Alcohol can help you fall asleep, but creates frequent sleep disruptions throughout the night.
Stop hitting the snooze!  This will cause major grogginess throughout the day.  I had a friend once that set the alarm for over an hour before he had to wake up!  He hit the snooze SIX TIMES before actually getting out of bed.  That sounds like a lot of work if you ask me.  When you snooze, you start a sleep cycle that you can’t finish.  Upon actually waking up, you’re probably in the beginning or middle of that cycle causing you sleepiness all day long.
Quiet the noise, cough Maria, cough, cough!  Kick animals out if they play, close the windows if the 5am birds are too much for you, and wear ear plugs.  We know how important sleep is, right?  We have to make accommodations to better our health!  I used to be so anti- ear plugs.  They drove me nuts!  In transition from moving home from Arizona, my parents were gracious enough to let unload myself and all of my belongings in their home for a while.  My kittens got to stay too under the premise that they were confined to my room.  Litter box, toys, and all. They gave me a huge room to live in so it’s not like I was stuck in a closet with all of this mess.  But my little (big) sister cats still liked to play all night long and dance around in the litter box just to go to the bathroom.  They were driving me nuts!!! Every noise woke me up. I bought ear plugs and my sleep has never been so great!  I HIGHLY recommend them to those in noisy environments or with noisy husband-snorers.  
That’s it!  That’s all we have to do to get better, longer, deeper, healthier sleep!  Just give it a try. Seven days of good sleep… can you do it?

Health and lots of love, 

Jenny

My sister Kristin and Anna!

My sister Kristin and Anna!