We here at Kale + Coco are huge proponents of proper sleep. When we get good shuteye, our bodies are in the mode of repairing, rejuvenating and essentially detoxing. It feels marvelous to be well rested with tons of energy. Let’s take a moment to think about all the bodily responses your body endures when you’re awake.
Stress/anxiety, eating, moving, responding to any stimuli, all senses are activated and your mind is always on. Our bodies go through a lot, and some neglect it more than others.
Being well-rested and getting proper not only feels good but promotes well-being. Contrary to what you might have heard, ever, or what your friends or colleagues tell you, or even how your family experiments or experiences their sleep cycle–if you’re between the ages 18-65+, getting 7-9 hours of sleep is required for all-around wellness and longevity. It’s time-tested and true. If your experiencing or pursuing good health than getting the required amount of sleep is CRUCIAL. Sleeping 4 hours and napping to compensate just won’t cut it. It’s simply not enough time for your body to do its thing while you’re asleep.
A Cambridge study indicated that “napping might be an early sign of system dysregulation and a marker of future health problems.’
This could cause someone to suffer from mental impairment, physical degradation and accumulate chronic sleep debt. It not only forces you into future sleep disorders but it can actually become deadly. Furthermore, “adults who nap every day are up to two-and-a-half times more likely to die from respiratory illnesses than those who don’t.”
While there are so many of you who have trouble sleeping and have no idea how to go about getting a decent 5 hours a day little own maintaining a proper sleep cycle, we are going to lend you some quick tips and tricks to get you onto a path of better sleep, no matter who you are.
Disclaimer: For those who suffer from insomnia or any other disorder, then you might want to consult with your doctor before proceeding with any new methods or devices.
We’ve been catching up on a lot of hearsay regarding how much sleep is actually necessary. Most folks who work a 9-5 might tell you that getting the 7-9 hours is usually required in order to continue functioning 5 days a week. They’re right. But then you’ll have some who swear by and insist that sleeping 4 hours is all you need. So what gives?
Let’s start by explaining some facts about sleep that will undoubtedly expel the myths about getting the limited 4-5 hours of sleep a night.
When you sleep your body is in rest mode. It’s in a state of optimal healing and relaxation. The chart below demonstrates what is recommended for proper sleep at every age.
Renew your estranged relationship with sleep–you will be more productive, effective, creative and more likely to enjoy your life – A. Huffington Click To Tweet
Reasons Why Proper Sleep Is So Important
- Longevity – sleep deprivation of even excessive sleep could shorten lifespan
- Helps manage your appetite
- Boosts your immune system
- Improves memory and focus
- Decreases the risk of heart disease and others
- Alleviates anxiety and stress
- Productivity and creativity comes with ease
- Your happier
- Maintain a healthy weight
Thanks to sleep.org, they simplify the process by illustrating how sleep affects all organs like our lungs, heart muscles and stomach and most importantly our brain. When we get the proper amount of sleep we are more clear, focused and alert.
“cerebral spinal fluid is pumped more quickly throughout the brain while you sleep. It acts like a dishwasher, whisking away waste products that brain cells make so you wake up with, quite literally a clean slate…..”
Sleep Hacks: Work Towards Getting A Blissful Slumber
Invest in a comfortable mattress. This could be the best thing you ever buy and potentially the single difference getting in between you and the best sleep of your life.
Don’t use an alarm. Our bodies are designed with an internal clock also known as our circadian rhythm. If you can program your body to wake up on its own at a specified time, then you’ve allowed your body to receive the amount of rest it needs, however, this takes a bit of time.
The National Sleep Foundation expresses that “our internal circadian biological clocks regulate the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day.”
You can customize your clock anytime by adjusting your sleeping habits naturally, whereas using an alarm forces you to wake and disrupts the moments where you might be getting the most restful sleep of the night leaving you tired, groggy and possibly cranky. So if you are one of the unfortunate ones that must use an alarm, then USE the snooze button up until the point you have to wake up. This way you will have at least gotten back into a sleep that was originally disrupted giving you that few extra minutes that could make a difference.
Contrary to what’s being suggested, it is only recommended to do this if you have the luxury to wake up when you please and wouldn’t suggest anyone attempting this with a routine job.
Socks, lotion or bare. Sometimes the difference between falling asleep and feeling as though you can’t–might rest all in the feet. It is known that sometimes covering your feet or not covering could determine whether you are able to fall asleep. If none of these work, try rubbing lotion on your feet before bed. Think of it as giving yourself a foot massage. The soothing, calming and moisturizing effect that your feet feel could be all it takes.
Your room is your sanctuary. Make your room your best room. Place a plant in the corner, make sure you have some pleasant curtains, comfy pillows and don’t eat or snack in your bed!
Put your phone on “do not disturb.” Many articles will suggest to turn off all digital devices and power down. But, most importantly the one thing that goes off frequently are our smartphones. Several noises come from your phone’s notifications. Activating the ‘do not disturb’ sends the message to you and everyone else to be silent and prepare for relaxation.
Take The TV Out. We can hear the gasps, “take the tv out? Never!” For a moment, consider replacing your TV with a tablet. Watching TV is an extremely passive way to absorb content and it’s bad Feng Shui. At least with a tablet, you can be selective and watch, listen, read something positive or just put on peaceful guided meditation music. Doing these small things will allow you to fall into a nice slumber and wake up happy and positive.
DubLabs reports that listening to songs slower than your heartbeat can not only allow you to sleep better but causes fewer disturbances during the night, lessen depressive symptoms and increase brain function the following day.
Buy bedding fit for a Queen/King. Get yourself the nicest bedding set you can find or have always wanted. Or if you simply don’t care, usually the best thing to do is to drape your bed in all white and some beautiful decorative pillows. Soft cotton sheets will give you comfort, great for all seasons and will give the illusion you’re sleeping in a hotel.
Listen to your body. Don’t force yourself to stay awake (unless you have no choice) but if you do, then get into bed. If your body shouts that it’s tired then listen!
Light a scented candle. Simply setting the mood will relax your body and mind and prepare you for an effortless sleep.
Exercise. Even if it’s walking or doing yoga for 30 minutes a day, get your heart rate going and move your muscles and joints. Regular exercise will enable your body to want to relax come sleepy time.
Drink tea. Ditch the pop at night and settle for some Chamomile tea. Known for its many tremendous benefits this tea is found to act as a sedative and works to immediately calm your nerves and soothe your mind. Make a cup before bed, let it steep, slowly sip and keep it on the nightstand for a natural sleep aid.
Nix the coffee after 5. Refrain from having any caffeine in the evening and allow your body to indicate to you when it’s tired. Drinking anything with caffeine closer to night time makes you nocturnal and forces erratic sleep patterns.
Take a hot shower. If you take a hot shower before bed, it warms your body and allows you to get into bed with a feeling of cleanliness and calmness. This I find always does the trick.
Sleep changes as we age. If you refer to the sleep chart you will see that as we age our recommended sleep duration changes. Adhere to this chart as best you can while being flexible but aware of your own sleep cycle.
Fitness Trackers and Improving Your Sleep For Well Being
If you’re adverse to hospitals, fitness trackers could be an alternative to a sleep clinic or at best an introduction to understanding your sleep patterns and stages giving you insight into when you get the most sleep as well so many other interesting things you never thought of. However, many experts will caution that just like any kind of technology, they are prone to mistakes or malfunction. Popular fitness trackers are equipped with the latest technologies like sensors called accelerometers that detect a wearer’s speed and direction of motion. Give it a try to gain more control and develop a healthier sleep routine.
Fitbit One/Force – You can track your sleep mode giving users insight into how long they slept, how many times they were restless and the number of times they woke. Monitors how long and how well you sleep.
Jawbone UP3 – Goes further breaking down sleep times into deep and light stages, capturing REM sleep and has an innovative new feature called ‘Silent Alarm’ that silently wakes you up at the optimal time in your sleep cycle.