21 Mar It’s Time To Sleep!
One gift that is free and oh-so rejuvenating is the gift of sleep; you can gift this to yourself starting today! Sleep impacts our overall health in many ways beyond just feeling refreshed an energetic for our day. It decreases stress levels, improves memory, and decreases inflammation which is associated with heart attack, stroke, diabetes and arthritis. Getting good rest will also help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight; sleep and appetite are controlled in the same part of the brain and the more sleep deprived we are, the greater our appetite.
There is one simple rule to follow when preparing you for good sleep: treat yourself like a child. That’s right; I’m asking you to create a routine just like you would for a small child…
Children should be provided the following according to the National Sleep Foundation:
• Newborns: Sleep in irregular patterns anywhere from 10.5 – 18 hours per day.
• 3 – 11 months: 9-12 hours every night plus 2-4 naps during the day
• 1 – 3 years: 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period (including naps)
• 3 – 5 years: 11-13 hours every night
• 5-12 years: 10-11 hours every night
Make breakfast and lunch your biggest meals and go light for dinner. As a rule, all meals should be consumed 3 hours before bed. If you need a light snack before bed, eat an hour before you go to sleep. Some foods known to aid in sleep are: oats, bananas, tart cherries or tart cherry juice, and almonds.
Eat, Play, Sleep:
Remember that we have a choice in every matter, including sleep. Make small changes so you eventually achieve your sleep goals. If you head to bed at midnight every night, you surely won’t be able to switch to a 10:00 bedtime right away. Start small and build up. Go to bed at 11:45 p.m. for a few nights, then move it up to 11:30 p.m. and continue moving up by 15-min increments until you reach your 10:00 p.m. goal. The pay-off is huge; you’ll feel better physically and emotionally and you’re most productive and happy when you’re adequately refreshed and energized.