I’ve always slept like a baby and held sleep to be very important. Only in the last few years have I had sleeping issues (thanks adulting). But if there is one thing that is guaranteed to take a huge toll on your health, it’s lack of sleep. Just a few things that start happening to your body when you start sacrificing sleep are:
- Reaction time slows down
- Memory loss
- Men’s testosterone levels decrease, and sex drive in both sexes dramatically decreases
- Stress hormones are released (like cortisol which inhibits collagen production and increases fat development)
- Decreased human growth hormone (which you need in adulthood for strong bones, thick skin, and good muscle mass)
- Totally screws up your appetite, your body is more hungry and less able to tell when you’re full
- Actual loss of brain tissue
Ok cool so basically you’re going to get dumber, fatter, uglier, and totally lose your sex drive…
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE TO CONVINCE YOU THAT YOU NEED MORE SLEEP?!
In my quest to develop a healthy sleeping schedule in the craziness that is life, I’ve come up with 3 Secrets to Healthy Sleeping Routine:
Turn off any electronic devices
I’ve always been a huge proponent of not having a TV in my bedroom. While a ton of adults say that they “need” TV to fall asleep, that’s only what you’ve trained your brain to need. I once read a study that talked about mentally associating actions with certain spaces. For example, when you eat, study, work, or watch TV in your bed, you’ve now mentally associated your bed with other actions besides sleeping. So now when you crawl into bed, your brain doesn’t say “time to sleep”, it says “ohhh time to be awake doing things”. Make sense?
Now one that I am super guilty of is my phone… it’s always within my reach whether on the pillow next to me or on my night stand. It’s wayyyy to easy to reach over and see what’s happening in the world. I can’t put it on silent or do not disturb because I have a mortal fear of someone trying to get ahold of me for an emergency and me not being available.
But do yourself a favor, turn all that shit off. Not only does it keep you stimulated but you’re training your brain to not sleep during sleepy time (definite scientific term).
Clear your brain
Easier said then done right? I’m of the belief that we control our own mind, the more you control your own mind, the more peaceful of a life you’ll live. Gonna get a little yogi on you for a second so just bear with me. You have the ability to give power to the things in your life, you choose to feed your energy to things. Your energy is your most precious commodity, and you get to choose every day whether you’re going to feed the positive and constructive or the negative and destructive.
Ok off my yogi-spiritual soap box…for now 🙂
Next time you find your mind cluttered, try this meditation technique. Imagine your issues written in chalk on a black chalkboard, in just one word, one at a time. If it’s a problem with another person, write the name of the person (mentally), and then imagine yourself erasing the word. You may be able to erase it easily, or it might take a while. Or it might not erase at all, only get a little lighter. The point is that as you imagine yourself erasing it, you start to mentally and emotionally let it go, if only temporarily. As you start to let it go, you start to drift off into sleep. If that one doesn’t work for you then try one of these meditation techniques for sleeping: No Sleepless Nights.
Use a noise machine
Or if you’re a millennial like me, an app. Ever wonder why people sleep so good when there’s rain or a thunder storm? Because that ish is relaxing! I started using a nature sounds clock when I was in high school and there’s nothing else that gets me to sleep faster. My personal favorite is the Rain, Rain app because it let’s you mix your own sounds into something custom, and it has a timer!