PictureFraya knows why her sleep is important

                When we think about health we usually think about disease control or weight or maybe even wellness.  One of the few things that will affect all these areas is sleep.  If you make sleep your priority you will not only affect your health but you will start to create optimal wellness. 

                Sleep research has found that sleep deprivation contributes to multiple issues such as dementia, colon cancer and diabetes.  Not to mention the daily issues of poor memory, fatigue and the lack of focus that can keep a person from reaching their goals. 

                So how do we improve our sleep so we can improve ort health?  Most people believe that they are short sleepers and that they only need to sleep 5 to 6 hours a night.  This is not true.  The average person needs 7 to 8 hours.  Younger people need even more.  But we need to train our body to sleep.  Our brains work like computers and like a routine to tell us what to do.  They want to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time.  They like to do the same thing before we go to sleep.  That means we need to create a sleep routine just like when our patents created one for us when we were kids. It needs to be between 20 and 40 minutes long and it needs to be personalized so that we are comfortable with it.  The following are some suggestions for creating a personal sleep routine.

  • Lower the lights in the room.  It will allow for your brain to start producing the chemicals needed to fall asleep.
  • Cool down the house.  Our body temperature dips when we are asleep, and the cooler temperatures help us to sleep better.  If you get cool try warm socks and pajamas.  
  • Do something to help you unwind.  It can be meditation, yoga, reading something to help you relax or anything that does not include computers, cell phones or television.
  • Take a warm shower or bath.  Your body will cool down afterwards telling your brain it is time to sleep.
  • Create a hygiene routine.  If you do the same thing every night before you go to sleep it will tell your brain it is bedtime.  
  • Give up that before bedtime drink.  Alcohol may make you fall asleep faster but it will disrupt your sleep later in the night.  

     Remember a routine needs to be personal so do what works for you.  Just remember that it should be done every day at the same time and you should wake up every day at the same time.  Routines are what allows the computer that is out brain to work optimally and contribute to our overall health.  


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