How did you sleep last night?
I had a great night’s sleep, but when I woke up I thought what a powerful effect a great night’s sleep has on your metabolism, and I wanted to share with you some ideas about how to get a better night’s sleep.
Now my idea of a great night’s sleep is one in which you sleep soundly and wake fully refreshed and full of energy. During a great night’s sleep you rarely, if ever, think about your troubles, you’re never thinking about the news, and you usually fall asleep within 10 minutes of your head hitting the pillow (with positive thoughts in your mind).
Also, a key factor in determining if you had a great night’s sleep is if you dream ‘positive’ or ‘fun’ dreams. Because if your night full of ‘bad’ or ‘stressful’ dreams then you’re most certainly tossing and turning throughout the night and NOT getting “restful” sleep.
Why is it so important to get quality sleep each and every night? Your body and your mind break down and get worn out from stress during the day.
The only time that your body and your mind repair themselves and rejuvenate is when you’re sleeping. But it’s important to note here that “restful” sleep is the key. Tossing and turning all night or waking up every few hours is not considered restful sleep.
People who snore tend to disrupt their sleep, on average, 300 times each night – now that’s not a restful night’s sleep! Now think about it this way for a moment – if you’ve been under stress lately, or if you’re mattress sucks, or if you just plain haven’t been able to sleep well for the past few weeks (or months), then you haven’t given your brain or your body the time it needs to repair itself.
So you actually start each and every day a little bit less focused and less metabolically healthy than the previous day.
Don’t try to catch up on your sleep. People tell me all the time that they know that they don’t get enough sleep during the week – but they “catch up” on the weekends. Let me put an end to that myth right now. That does not work!!! Your body and your mind need a regular sleeping pattern to repair and rejuvenate – without it, you’re actually deteriorating yourself rather than re-energizing yourself.
So what’s considered enough sleep?
Generally speaking, everyone should strive to get 8 hours of restful sleep. Now if you eat a very healthy diet and exercise properly, and give yourself a few mental breaks during the day, and if you sleep like a baby and awaken fully refreshed every day, then you might be the type of person who can get away with less sleep – maybe 6 hours each night.
On the other hand, if you experience extraordinary amounts of stress each day (mental or physical), then you’ll need more than 8 hours. A marathon runner, for example, tends to put his/her body through a lot of stress each day – that person needs more than just 8 hours because their body needs more repair time than normal. The same holds true for the person going through massive mental stress as well.
So what can you do to help facilitate a better night’s rest for yourself and those around you?
10 Steps To Help You Get A Great Night’s Sleep:
- Make a list of what you need to do the next day, write it all down and keep that paper and pen near your bedside in case you think of anything else you need to do. When you write things down you’re giving your brain the signal that it no longer needs to think about those tasks.
- Don’t watch television or listen to the radio (especially the news) before retiring for the night – and certainly do not fall asleep with the TV or radio on.
- Read some inspirational or self-growth material for at least 30 minutes prior to bed. Your goal is to fill your mind with inspirational thoughts before falling asleep so that the last thoughts you have before drifting off are uplifting thoughts – as opposed to the stressful thoughts that most people fall asleep thinking about.
- Make sure the room that you’re sleeping in is as dark a room as possible – the body is made to sleep when it’s dark out – the darker the room the more potential for a night of deep sleep.
- Make the room as silent as possible – turn off all electric devices and ask others in the house to be as quiet as they can be.
- Don’t eat for at least 3 hours before going to bed. When there’s undigested food in the stomach, your body is forced to focus on digesting that food rather than being focused on repairing your body and mind – which is what sleep is all about! The body was designed to digest food best while moving – not while laying down.
- Try to go to bed at approximately 10:00 pm and awake at approximately 6:00 am. In Ayurvedic medicine, it’s believed that there are cycles that are the most conducive for certain activities. Going to bed at 10:00 pm and arising at 6:00 am appears to allow the body to rest the deepest, rejuvenate the most, and give the person the most energy throughout the day.
- Don’t take drugs or vitamins/herbs that are supposed to help you sleep (unless required by your physician). Most of these artificial sleeping aids do nothing more than deadening your senses – the goal of ‘sleep’ is to give your body the time and means to repair itself and prepare for the coming day. When you drug yourself to sleep, every system in your body is slowed down, including all those systems that are responsible for repairing you.
- Make sure that there’s a fresh air supply in the room. The air indoors is said to be some of the most toxic air around. When you sleep, you’re only able to breathe in the air that surrounds you in your enclosed bedroom. Try opening a window (if it’s cold outside then just open the window a crack). The fresh air that comes in while you sleep will help your body repair itself because you’ll have access to cleaner, more oxygenated air.
- During the day, do 60 minutes of mild exercise. If you don’t have time to do 60 minutes in a row, then break it up into 2-30 minute sessions, or 3-20 minute session, or 6-10 minute sessions — just get a full 60 minutes in. The best exercise when talking about general health and preparing your body for a great night’s sleep is walking.
I wish you the best night’s sleep tonight and every night.