How Sound are you Sleeping?

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By: Veronica Rodell

“Early bird gets the worm” they say. As true as that saying may be, if the bird is too tired to fly or doesn’t have the strength to pull the worm from the ground, then waking up early wasn’t as successful as intended. Sometimes we get so caught up in our fitness goals that we forget to rest. Here are some quick easy ways to ensure better rest for your brain, organs and muscles.

  1. Hydration- Proper hydration is one of the first ways to aid an exhausted brain and body. Our brains are 80% water, so keeping that tank full is important. When you are extremely tired, your blood flow to the brain decreases. This makes it harder for your bodies to function in a healthy manner. When our brain isn’t functioning to its potential, our bodies follow suit. Hydrating your body before bed is a simple way to ensure your body having the H2O it needs to tend to your brain, organs and muscles overnight!

  2. No Tech Zone- You’ve probably heard before that technology is not meant for the bedroom. Why you ask? Blue light which emits from all screens of technology such as your phone, TV or computer. Blue light actually decreases output of the sleep hormone in your body called Melatonin. Low melatonin levels at night mean it will take you a longer amount of time to fall asleep. Shut of your screens and grab a book or journal!

  3. Decaffeinate your Diet- Studies have shown how helpful caffeine can be in brain productivity and performance. However, these same studies have also suggested to stop caffeine consumption 5-6 hours before hitting the hay. Overstimulating the nervous system can have the opposite of the desired reaction. Too many cups of coffee or energy drinks can deplete the nervous system. The long term effects of this could cause seizures, strokes, fainting spells and in some cases death. Being educated about caffeine and your bodies tolerance for it is the best way to use it to your advantage.

  4. Alcohol and Recreational Drugs - First thing to address is that a large percentage of people believe that because alcohol and marijuana are depressants, that this will help them “unwind” and sleep. This couldn’t be more opposite! In fact, it suppresses hormone release, causing inadequate sleep in your body. As long as alcohol or THC is present in the bloodstream, your body is not able to reach full restorative sleep. The brain waves are slowed down so much that it keeps us in Sub-REM level of sleep. Switch the night cap for some chamomile tea and dream away!

Happy zzz’s!


Sources:

Underwood, John, and Keara White. “Sleep and Recovery.” Sleep and Recovery.