Could sleep be the missing piece in your health equation?
Believe it or not, it could be. In our chaotic busy world, many of us get in a few hours of sleep to get more hours of work. We hustle all day long but never give ourselves enough time to recover, maybe not even the right type of recovery. We get little sunlight exposure and end our hectic working day with an even more hectic workout. Our bedrooms have become an extension of our office space, eyes stuck on the screens, lights popping out of every corner of the room. We’ve truly forgotten the importance of sleep.
Sleep is fundamental for proper body functioning, it is actually the driver for the different cycles in the body. It is also the time during which our body gets rid of excess toxins and metabolic byproducts and has the time to heal from all EMFs (electromagnetic fields) we get exposed to throughout the day from the different devices we have at home: mobile phones, laptops, refrigerators, microwaves.. The benefits of good quality sleep also include:
- Increased energy and productivity the next day
- Strengthened immune system
- Heightened alertness, focus, and creativity
- Improved mood by reducing anxiety, irritability, and mental exhaustion
So if you’re looking forward to improve your health through better sleep consider the following lifestyle changes:
Long before clocks and alarms existed, humans used the cueing of the sun to know when to wake up and when to go to sleep, this is why our body is regulated on a 24 hr cycle just like the sun at which it functions best. The body can actually know from its direct exposure to the sun that it’s time to turn on its different systems and from the absence of exposure that it’s time to go to sleep.
Sadly, we have thrown off this rhythm in the modern world as we rely heavily on stimulants to keep us awake and get little quality sleep at night.
Here’s what you can do to help change that bodily pattern:
If you have trouble waking up in the morning, getting in at least 10 minutes of daylight in the morning can signal to your body that it’s time to wake up.
Even better if you can squeeze in a short workout in the morning or even your full workout routine. This will ensure that your body has enough time to rest rather than bear an additional stressor at night!
Your bedroom should be your sanctuary this is why you might want to:
Declutter every once in a while: remove all unnecessary items to keep the good energy flowing. Try not to bring in any office work with you to your room but rather keep it a place for rest.
Keep all the lights out: this is very important for melatonin production. (melatonin is the hormone that helps you control your sleep-wake cycle)
More importantly avoid blue light exposure and EMFs especially those coming from mobile phones, laptops and computers as they can suppress melatonin production in the body and affect your quality of sleep. Here are a couple of things you can do about those:
Keep your wifi station as far as possible from your home’s sleeping areas and turn it off at night to reduce EMFs.
Place your phone on airplane mode and place it as far away from your bed as possible.
Get regular direct skin contact with nature, a process known as Earthing as it can help shield us from low frequency EMFs coming from appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves, laptops, lamps.. Earthing will also help calm down your nervous system which is key to better sleep!
A well-balanced diet with a rich variety of foods will definitely impact your energy levels and help you shy away from stimulants to keep you going. Some foods actually contain melatonin or melatonin inducing substances. A few are cherries, pistachios, bananas and goji berries.
Did you know that just one night of sleep deprivation radically suppresses your satiety hormone leptin and your cravings will just kick in the next day!
Self-care can manifest in different ways, it might be taking that salt bath, putting on that natural face mask that’ll keep your skin glowing or even diffusing your favorite essential oils, anything that’ll feel rewarding after a long day.
Meditation & Mindfulness Practices
I believe there’s no right way to meditate. Breathing meditation, guided meditation, coloring mandalas, listening to calm music and journaling are all great to clear up your mind before bed.
Wishing you better night sleep and sweet dreams!
Christina Zakhem | @balancewithtina
Christina is a Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach as well as a Culinary Wellness Professional in training. She completed Health Coach certification at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she was equipped with the latest cutting-edge knowledge in holistic nutrition and lifestyle coaching. Her approach to health embodies different aspects of life that impact ones health with an emphasis on bio-individual needs. She co-creates with her clients individualized programs to help them reach their health and wellness goals and create long lasting lifestyle changes. Christina also specializes in plant-based cooking and pastry work and is pursuing a culinary certification in that.