*Do you suffer from a poor nights sleep?
*Do you often wake up at night?
*Do you fall asleep after 11pm?
*Do you struggle to get a consistent 7-9 hours per night?
*Do you wake up feeling tired and not rested?
*If you answered yes to any of the above, then your sleep needs help!
Sleep is a fundamental aspect of any healing and I know this from experience with autoimmune issues.
If we aren't getting quality sleep, then we're going to feel it the next day, but it also has a long lasting and detrimental impact on our health.
In the book “Why we sleep” by Matthew Walker he explains:
“Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer” he goes on to say “Inadequate sleep – even moderate reductions for just one week – disrupts blood sugar levels so profoundly that you would be classed as pre-diabetic”
Just think how long term this can have such a HUGE effect on your body, mind and Spirit!
If we have issues with stress or physical symptoms then the less we sleep, our symptoms and issues get worse, which makes it more difficult to sleep and the cycle continues!
Does this sound familiar?
I remember waking up countless times throughout the night while going through Graves disease, having to take extra naps or being totally wiped out. And the guilt of not being able to do as others do….AWFUL!!
The lack of sleep and being unable to function led me to take time off to reset and relearn my patterns
Over the years I've found some simple ways to support good sleep and I share a lot of these tools in my classes and workshops
Here are my top 5 tips to break the vicious cycle:
1. Get outside first thing in the morning:
Also known as "morning grounding", getting outside for sun exposure early in the morning can help to reset your circadian rhythm.
If you can put your bare feet on the ground.This helps to regulate the nervous system and decrease inflammation!
This will help you to get a better night's sleep and help you to fall asleep earlier.
2. Avoid caffeine after lunch:
Caffeine can wreak havoc on cortisol and melatonin balance. Consuming it after lunch will make falling asleep very difficult.
If you're feeling extra tired in the afternoon, reach for a protein + fat-rich snack instead of caffeine. Olives with nuts/seeds is a great option!
3. Avoid screens at least 1 hour before bed
Or use blue-light blocking glasses: we all know that screen use isn't great for our circadian rhythm!
If you need to use a screen 1-2 hours before bed, consider purchasing blue-light blocking glasses.
These help to block the light that can make it harder to fall asleep at the right time!
4. Practice a relaxing activity before bed:
Having some time to wind down and quiet your mind before falling asleep can be really beneficial.
Maybe try some journaling, a bath, gentle stretching/yoga, reading, or anything else that feels calming to you before you get into bed.
5. Stick to a schedule and aim to be in bed by 10pm:
Our bodies love routine!
Our body likes to be able to anticipate when sleep is coming. If you can get in bed and wake up at similar times each day, it will be much easier for your body to prepare for sleep!
The time we go to sleep also matters! There are many organs that are busy overnight!
It's also a time when our hormones regulate, including those for hunger, digestion, and muscle/tissue repair.
Most research indicates that being asleep before 11pm is ideal and you will feel much more energized in the morning!
Sleep is really non-negotiable when it comes to taking care of the body, mind and Spirit
If you're not getting quality sleep, then all of the other healthy stuff you do is depleted.
Like everything, making changes to your sleep habits takes time. Try making small changes and write down how it impacts your symptoms.
Here's to a restful and easy sleep!
Lots of love