Sleep: I have to tell you along with exercise and nutrition, sleep is equally, if not more important, for our brains and bodies. It's necessary for recovery from hard work, long days, stress, playing hard and training even harder. To sleep well is to live well! To be able to create well! With great sleep, we get to wake up energized and take on anything that comes our way.
I am fortunate to have set up my life in a way that most days I get to sleep naturally. This means I go to bed when I'm tired and wake up when I'm rested. My sleep time is usually 8 to 9 1/2 hours and even 10 1/2 to 11 hours happens several times a month, depending on how active the day was. Any sleep less than 7 hours is not enough for me. I am an early to bed, early to rise guy. Waking most days just before sunrise. Carpe diem... to seize the day! This is what I love. I'm like a kid who wakes up and cannot wait to get outside. For me there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the amazing things that life has to offer.
In the U.S. it is said that at least 40% of the population does not get enough sleep (at a recommended 7 to 9 hours) with children and teenagers needing even more. With more sleep you will have the benefits of a better life! Here is a list of them: It raises your testosterone levels, boosting libido for both men and women. You'll be happier. You will have healthier skin and fewer signs of aging. You will be able to build muscle easier, by your body releasing your own natural growth hormone to repair cells, tissues, eyesight, hearing, our brains, hearts and lungs. All the functions of our body are repaired with a good nights sleep. Stronger immune system preventing colds. Memory and faster and higher learning skills.
- Sleep early staying as close to the natural circadian rhythm as possible. Up with the Sun and down shortly after the Sun sets getting the amount of sleep that is best for you. 8 plus hours.
- Where we sleep is important for proper rest. Cool, well vented with fresh air, in a dark and quiet place.
- Stick to a schedule as close as possible. Creating a pattern allows your body and mind to get in a rhythm
- Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Do not go to bed full. I stop eating and drinking about 2 hours before bed.
- Earn your sleep. Some form of movement or exercise everyday. Your body and mind will want to rest.
- Lower the lights 2 or 3 hours before you go to sleep. This will make your body produce melatonin. Turn the lights up upon waking up. This will tell your body and brain to get moving.
- Free your mind. I shut off my computer, cell phone, television and all the noise of the day. Winding down with reflection of the day and beginning to create what is possible for tomorrow.
For me, to be energetic and happy I organize my life in a particular way. I find time where I would otherwise be stressing over plans undone or future desires unmet to focus on being present. When your brain is in the here and now it is calm. How I wake up in the morning becomes the template for a day well lived and a night well slept. I am mindful, grateful, slow and quiet in the AM. I usually awaken with the sun, if I have gone to sleep early enough the night before.
Sleep heals and rejuvenates my body. It purifies my thoughts and regenerates my brain function. It also helps me defy the aging process. At night my body can relax, recharge and rejuvenate. I used to believe that I was more efficient without a lot of sleep. Bobby made me realize that wasn’t true. Now I get 8 to 9 1/2 hours of shut-eye and I LOVE it.
I also take a short nap during the day and still welcome a long night of sleep. Because, like so many, I have a stressful life so I make sure I create a sleep environment on the inside (my physical body and brain) and the outside (the actual environment I am sleeping in) that is conducive to rest. I exercise everyday, eat well, and do something called Brain Wave Optimization to ensure a peaceful brain and restful night. Exercise makes it so my body is physically tired at bedtime, (it is like when my girls were babies, I would exhaust them so they would fall asleep easily and remain asleep all night). I eat a clean un-processed diet and drink no more caffeine by the late afternoon.
Oh delicious sleep how I adore you now!
- Look into Brain Wave Optimization http://www.ensele.com/brainwave-optimization.html for helping with sleep issues. I have a device called Braintellect that balances the brain through sound, eases stress and helps with sleep issues. Order a Braintellect device from http://braintellect.com/product/braintellect-2/ref/145/
- Create an internal sleep environment by eating healthy, exercising and learning to meditate. https://www.tm.org
- Women with sleep troubles might want to look into their hormone levels. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioidentical_hormone_replacement_therapy
- Create a room that encourages peacefulness and rest. Black out your windows, use earplugs and if traveling use an eye mask to create darkness.
- Turn off technology at least 2 hours before you go to bed. The energy from computers and phones can keep you awake and restless.
- Go to bed early… 10pm should be the latest you turn in… at least during the week.