Created: April 3, 2020
🥱 You know the changes in your recent schedule have definitely shifted your sleep patterns.... but now what? What are the other factors involved in your bedtime challenges? AND how can they be changed -- like NOW?!
There are three hidden factors to your lack of QUALITY sleep AND simple changes to can make TODAY to up the sleepy time in your bed tonight so that you can feel better, have more energy and a more positive attitude during the day. All of these factors increase your immune system response as a BONUS. 🙌🏻
As an educated woman, you already know that having a bedtime routine helps, you already know that blue light filters and reducing screen time helps - at least I think you do...but what else could be contributing to this? It's not only about the FALLING asleep, but the STAYING asleep, and what about the last time you've dreamed?? Getting into that coveted R.E.M. is what you really want to feel your best and tackle tomorrow -- but HOW?
So let's dig into these THREE hidden factors. But, before we do, let's make sure to establish together the VALUE OF SLEEP:
33% of Americans are not getting enough sleep at night and I would say that's even higher right now. Lack of sleep impacts the immune system, cardiovascular, and overall health as well as the ability to lose and maintain weight. Just look at some of the short term and long term effects of disrupted sleep. Research shows that just 24 hr sleep deprivation results in 6% less glucose to your brain - literally you get dumber!
Here's the thing - SLEEP gives your body prizes! That's right - prizes. Fortifies your immune system, your metabolism increases your physical energy and improves the function of your brain. In fact, your brain gets a total rehab during sleep. - its own waste disposal system is active in quality sleep.
So, let's reframe our idea of sleep and make something that our body GETS to do each night.
Okay. So now that we've established the value of sleep, let's dig into the 3 hidden factors why you might NOT be getting enough sleep.
#1 hidden factor in why you aren't getting enough sleep is "You're not getting enough sunlight during the day." 🌞
Your sleep cycle is heavily impacted by the amount of sunlight you receive each day. This may seem a bit counterintuitive, but getting more sunlight during the day can help you sleep better at night. Science shows that there are certain times of day that your body is designed to release specific hormones; Serotonin and melatonin.
A recent study of compared to office workers who have direct access to windows at work to those office workers who didn't have access to windows and they got 173% less exposure to natural light and, as a result, sleep an average of 46 minutes less each night This sleep deficit resulted in more reported physical ailments, lower vitality, and poorer sleep quality. The office workers with more natural light exposure tended to be more physically active and happier, and they had an overall higher quality of life.
Our melatonin production does gradually decline as we age, however you won't experience such a dramatic drop off when you get sunlight exposure. Simply put, when you get more sunlight exposure during the day and less exposure at night, you're on your way to a magical sleep formula! Direct sunlight for at least 30 minutes and from 6-8:30 am shows the most benefit, but other times will still be beneficial. The sunlight needs to hit your optical receptors to trigger the right hormones, so you don't want to always be wearing sunglasses, but use a balance of also protecting your eyes.
#2 You're getting too hot at night. 🥵 Thermoregulation heavily influences your body's sleep cycles. Your core body temp drops in order to get into a state of rest. However, if your environment is too warm, you will wake up more easily during the night and will have difficulty sleeping. Studies have shown that insomniacs tend to have a significantly warmer body temp before bed and better sleep has been found where those people were able to cool off before bed. So, make sure the temp in your bedroom stays close to the recommended 68 degrees at night.
#3 Your inner chatter keeps going. "My bed is a magical place where I suddenly remember everything I was supposed to do." 🤣 - You think about the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW of your life - when you're supposed to be sleeping.
Keep a pen & notepad by your bed. When you can jot down whatever idea, task, etc is mulling over, it will help you release it.
You can train your brain get into a relaxed space which reduces cortisol - try my favorite Soulspace app.
4x4 breathing - powerful tool to move you our of your habitual shallow breathing. Breathe in for four counts. Hold for four counts. Breathe out for four counts. Hold for four counts. Repeat this cycle for several cycles.
While you're breathing, you might as well bring out the essential oils. These have been studied to enter into the limbic system of the brain to create chemical changes in the brain - ie. Cedarwood (increase REM activity), Vetiver (quiet the mind chatter), Lavender (calm the central nervous system), Juniper Berry (calms nighttime anxious thoughts) and several others. Serenity blend - & softgels are the perfect combination.
If you find yourself trying these things out and recognizing you still feel stuck in your sleep, reach out to me. Let's schedule a complimentary wellness strategy call where we can get to the root cause of the sleep issues and game plan so you can begin to be well.
🎁 Here are a few gifts from me to you to help you sleep better!
Check out my favorite sleep book by Shaun Stevenson, Sleep Smarter
For a deeper dive, grab my Essential Oils for Sleep ebook👇🏼
Watch the full video here:
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