With our busy lives, we might not always make sleep the highest priority, but it’s importance shouldn’t be overlooked. That’s why we were pretty amp’d to see it highlighted in Brittney’s Back to BASICS approach to health and wellness.
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Over to you Brittney!
Who doesn’t love the thought of a good night’s rest? Sleep is such as beloved activity, but with our busy lives, too often gets pushed aside.
As an active person, trying to pursue career, life, and fitness goals I get how it can how it can be daunting trying to fit everything into one day! Well #teamreflex is here to remind you that sleep and recovery IS a priority. You should be aiming for 7-9 hours every single night.
Sleep deprivation can contribute to stress levels, exhaustion of the immune system, and lack of cognitive function. By skimping on sleep you just can’t feel or function at your best.
Now before I lose you completely to bed, getting a quality night’s sleep is just as important as the quantity. Here are my tips for getting that top-self slumber.
Creating a routine around bedtime is a great way to help both your body and mind relax. Try dimming the lights, treating yourself to a relaxing cup of chamomile tea, reading a good book, or playing some music (nothing too stimulating!). Doing this around the same time every night is a great way to regulate your body’s internal clock, helping you fall asleep faster.
Our circadian rhythm (i.e. our body’s 24-hour cycle) is regulated by light and dark. When it becomes dark, receptors in our eyes tell our brain that it is time to start winding down for the night, while light signals our brain to become alert, ready to tackle the day. Light emitted from our phones, tablets, and computers can trick our brains into thinking it’s daytime and promote wakefulness even when it’s long past our bedtime. Aim to shut your devices off 60-30 minutes before bed to give your brain the right message that it’s time to sleep.
Anxieties and worries around work, family, school, or just our never ending “things to do” list can often prevent us from falling into a deep slumber. There are some great natural ingredients on the market that can help relax our mind so we can fall into a deep restful sleep. L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, has been shown to promote the release of GABA, a chemical produced in our brain that promote a feeling of calm. Vitamin D is another important nutrient as it has been shown to promote uptake of serotonin (our happy hormone). Supplementing with melatonin (our sleep hormone) helps you both fall asleep, and increases total sleep time. I’m a big fan of Mangnum G-Spring’s Sleep & Recovery formula which combines these ingredients to help take your sleep and recovery to the next level.
Your bedroom plays an important role in the quality of sleep you get. A cool room, between 17-20°C, is the optimal temperature for sleep. Remove distractions like your phone, computer or tablet (see tip number 2!), and consider using relaxing scents like lavender essential oils, or white noise machines to help further deepen your sense of relaxation.