1 & 2. My Story: I'm spending more time at my desk, managing my business and studying. I've noticed that when I spend lots of time in my head and on the computer, it can affect my sleep. Recently in the middle of the night I woke up and had trouble getting back to sleep. After lying in bed for a while, clearing my head, it occurred to me to get out of bed and practice yoga. I followed this still quiet voice (I don't always listen to it.)
I did a handful of gentle poses on the floor. The combination of the gentle movement with breathing, and feeling grounded lying on the floor was a perfect remedy for me. When I climbed back into bed, I easily went to sleep. It wasn't a struggle.
If you give this a try, I'd love to hear how it works for you.
The other take away for me is to take little breaks throughout the day, to let my mind settle, to get up and stretch, whatever. It's often the little things that make a big difference.
I recently listened to an interview with Dr. Sarah Ballantyne. She spoke about getting a good night’s sleep. I learned some surprising things:
3. If your routine is to sleep 6 hours or less on a regular basis, you’d get more benefit by sleeping 7 – 9 hours per night. You might need even more than 9 hours if your body is in a healing process, like managing a chronic illness.
4. Many of us think that if we miss sleep during the week, we can make it up on the weekend. It doesn’t work that way. We get tons more positive effects from getting a good night’s sleep in the first place. We can’t make up lost sleep.
5. Getting enough sleep seems to be as important as having enough fruits and vegetables in our diet!
6. The glymphatic system clears away waste products. Think good lymphatic flow for the brain. This clearing away process of is much more active when we sleep.
7. We learn when we’re awake. Getting enough sleep helps our brain store learning in our memory.
8. Unfortunately a common attitude is to think that sleep is for sissies. Like, if you need sleep you’re soft, you’re not serious about your work. Let's change that. Getting enough sleep is vital for health.
9. The good news is that about 2/3 of us Americans get enough sleep. The bad news is that about 1/3 of us don’t.
10. Getting a good night’s sleep actually supports all other great lifestyle choices! When you get enough sleep you literally have energy to exercise. You are more likely to eat broccoli than processed foods. Eat more broccoli and you’re less likely to reach for a soda or an umpteenth cup of coffee for energy. All because of a habit of getting a good night's sleep.
11. Recent studies about eating appropriate fiber and good elimination are promising for sleep. Eating enough fiber may be somehow involved in getting the deep sleep that refreshes us.
12. If you'd like to learn more about sleep and help it become a central part of your healthy lifestyle, you can check out Dr. Ballantyne's great e-book here. She's super smart and her e-book is enjoyable to read.