In honor of National Sleep Awareness Month, I’m sharing with you 5 ways to Optimize your Sleep! Several years ago I picked up Shawn Stevenson’s book, Sleep Smarter. I’m a big fan of Shawn Stevenson and his top health and wellness podcast, The Model Health Show. His book, Sleep Smarter is a favorite resource, offering insights and research about the role of sleep on our health and well-being.
Have you sacrificed sleep to get things done? With plenty of distractions and never ending list of to-dos, we no longer prioritize sleep. However, we know that for our physical and mental health to thrive, we need good quality of sleep at least 7 hours every night.
How do you feel when you’re sleep deprived? Personally, I am not fully functional when I’ve had less than 7 hours of sleep for a few nights in a row. I feel exhausted and much less productive.
WHEN YOU VALUE SLEEP
Shawn’s health transformation journey led him to realizing the value of sleep. At a young age, he was diagnosed with a spinal condition called degenerative disc disease. According to Shawn’s doctor, this was an incurable disease. His spine was rapidly deteriorating and resembling that of an 80-yr old man.
However, instead of merely managing through the pain, Shawn took the reins and started to learn more about his body and overall health. His curiosity and relentless pursuit to improve his condition led him to make changes in his diet and exercise with incredible results! The pain disappeared and eventually his spine healed.
Along with the proper nutrition and exercise, sleep played a huge role in the healing process. Because of the powerful way sleep transformed his health, Shawn felt compelled to write a book. If you’d like to learn more about Shawn’s story, listen to his podcast episode, My Story of Healing: The Soul and Science of Transforming Your Health.
“Always remember the value of sleep, you will perform better, make better decisions, and have a better body when you get the sleep your require…It’s a natural state your body requires to boost your hormone function; heal your muscles, tissues, and organs; protect you from diseases; and make your mind work at its optimal level…You will work better, be more efficient, and get more stuff done when you’re properly rested.” – Shawn Stevenson
FIVE WAYS TO OPTIMIZE SLEEP
How can we optimize sleep? Thanks to Shawn Stevenson and his bestselling book, Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to A Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success, we have 21 strategies available to help us sleep better at night. Here are 5 of the 21 you can try to help you get the sleep you deserve!
1. TURN OFF ALL SCREENS 60 – 90 MIN BEFORE BEDTIME
Artificial blue light emitted by electronic screens triggers your body to produce more daytime hormones (such as cortisol) and disorients your body’s natural preparation for sleep.
2. TURN YOUR BEDROOM TO A NO-CELL PHONE ZONE
Electronic devices emit both electric and magnetic fields known as EMFs. EMFs cause disruption in the communication among the cells in our bodies.
3. BE COOL INSIDE AND OUT
Guess what’s the best temperature for sleep? Between 60 to 68 degrees F.
4. PRACTICE MEDITATION TO CALM YOUR INNER CHATTER
Meditation increases ‘feel-good’ hormones and endorphins, lowers stress hormones like cortisol, and even reduces inflammation in the body.
“As the American Academy of Sleep Medicine research showed, meditating in the morning is proven to help test subjects sleep at night. You’re creating a conscious neuro-pathway to relaxation, a buffer against stress, and a profound sense of presence that will help you sleep better in the evening.”
5. FIX YOUR GUT TO FIX YOUR SLEEP
Food isn’t just food – it’s also information. The nutritional content of the food you consume (or lack thereof), stimulate internal processes that determine what your body, health, and sleep will look like.
PRIORITIZE YOUR SLEEP
Along with proper nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress relief, sleep is another important component to achieve balance in your wellness. The amount and quality of sleep you get each night touches every aspect of your well-being – physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Which of these strategies do you think would be most helpful to get you the best quality of sleep?
Would you like to set goals for you to increase your sleep quality? Download a free resource with questions to help you SMART Sleep Health goals!