When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, it's more than just what you eat and how you exercise. The quality of your sleep, how you deal with stress and your emotional wellbeing also play a role in your overall health. Did you know there is an interface between nutrition with sleep & dreams, that our eating impacts our sleep, and our sleep impacts our eating, metabolism and weight?? Sleep is one of the cornerstones of good health. When we get a good night's sleep our thoughts are clearer and our mood is more stable.
Hormones that trigger hunger and satiety are released in our bodies and properly balanced when we get a good night's sleep. This leads us to make better, healthier food choices the next day which leads to less physical discomfort and ultimately, less stress and fewer health issues. When our hormones are not balanced we are constantly feeling hungry and the hormone that messages our brain from our stomach is off and so we never feel full. Have you ever noticed that you are VERY hungry the next day after a poor night's sleep, and no matter how much you eat, you don't feel satisfied? This is due to imbalanced hormones from poor sleep.
We need to renegotiate our relationship with sleep and begin to value its importance to our health. The first step is making sure we have good sleep hygiene, which refers to the habits that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis. Here are some great natural, healthy tools which I use regularly to help regulate my sleep cycle, that don't involve pills that have dangerous side effects.
1) Try to unplug an hour before you need to sleep (so difficult but so important!).
2) GAME CHANGER!!!..This one pretty much has solved my sleep issues, try diffusing some lavender essential oil into the air to start to relax. Psychologists at Wesleyan University monitored sleep cycles in participants with brain scans and found that participants slept more soundly and felt more energized the next morning when they slept in a room where lavender essential oil was diffused in the air. They also found it increased slow-wave sleep, (the very deep sleep in which the heartbeat slows and the muscles relax), also the phase thought to help organize memory. My favorite essential oil diffuser is on sale now through the end of July, you can order it here. If you already own an oil diffuser you may order the lavender oil here.
3) Try to take a warm bath before you go to bed, filling the tub with Epson salt to relax your muscles and also add some essential oils to help your body start to unwind. This will relax your central nervous system and the salts will replenish the magnesium levels in your body which often become depleted when we are under intense stress, eating a poor diet and not sleeping well.
Here is the Bath Gel I love that is infused with essential oils.
4) Try some progressive muscle relaxation while lying in bed by tensing and relaxing each muscle group.
5) Listen to some soothing relaxing music to clear your head and lift your mood.
6) Try to declutter your bedroom so you are not focusing on distractions and reminders of things you need to take care of. Have you read Marie Kondo's book "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up", a great book if parting with your belongings is hard for you!!
7) Practice some self-care rituals, rub hand lotion into your hands, massage your temples, or rub essential oil scented moisturizer into your arms and legs. Here is one I love, also on sale during July
These extra steps you take in the evening investing in sleep hygiene rituals will pay you back with more productivity the next day.
Want to learn more all-natural, healthy techniques to improve your sleep EMAIL SUZY for a one hour Stress Buster Coaching Session. To learn how to do Progressive Muscles Relaxation, check out my book Hungry For Health, Starved for Time.
Now through the end of July, order a copy of "Hungry For Health", email the receipt to Suzy at harmonious firstname.lastname@example.org and receive your FREE veggie cleaning brush and FREE guide to cooking vegetables with recipes to jazz up your summer meals.