Bye Bye Sleeping Through the Night
Sleep is this daily thing that we all do, and yet we're just beginning to understand all the ways it helps us and all the factors that can affect it.
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind. People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and inflammation. And don't forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory and decision-making skills.
Do you know that lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program? (Gasp!)
Honestly — What aspect of health does sleep not affect???
Knowing this it's easy to see the three main purposes of sleep:
To restore our body and mind. Our bodies repair, grow and even “detoxify” our brains while we sleep.
To improve our brain's ability to learn and remember things, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.
To conserve some energy, so we're not just actively “out and about” 24-hours a day, every day.
Do you know how much sleep adults need? It's less than your growing kids need but you may be surprised that it's recommended that all adults get 7–9 hours a night. For real! Try not to skimp! (Don't worry, I have you covered with a bunch of actionable tips below.)
Tips for better sleep
The biggest tip is definitely to try to get yourself into a consistent sleep schedule. Make it a priority and you're more likely to achieve it. This means turning off your lights 8 hours before your alarm goes off. Seven. Days. A. Week. I know weekends can easily throw this off but by making sleep a priority for a few weeks your body and mind will adjust and thank you for it.
Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. You know, eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods (full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber). Choose the whole orange instead of the juice (or orange-flavored snack). Make sure you're getting some protein every time you eat.
During the day get some sunshine and exercise. These things tell your body it's daytime; time for being productive, active and alert. By doing this during the day it will help you wind down more easily in the evening.
Cut off your caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm. Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine, it's the “added” sugar we're minimizing. Yes, this includes your beloved chai latte. Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind a bit more active than you want it to become evening. (HINT: I have a great caffeine-free chai latte recipe for you below!).
Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your “lights out” time (that is 8–10 hours before your alarm is set to go off). This would include dimming your artificial lights, nixing screen time and perhaps reading an (actual, not “e”) book or having a bath.
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind and creates vicious cycles of stimulants during the day and then relaxants to help us wind down at night. This cycle of unhealthy dependence may lead us to gain weight, lose mental clarity, feel emotionally drained, and eventually diminish our overall wellness. Fortunately, following these steps can improve our quality of sleep and give ourselves the deserved rest we need to function. Several factors contribute to how well we sleep, including what and when we eat and drink (nutrition), where we sleep (environment), and our energy output during the day (daily rhythms). And remember, take baby steps! Adopt one or two of these habits until you don’t even think about them again, then add another ;)
So how many of these tips can you start implementing today? xo
Recipe (Caffeine-free latte for your afternoon “coffee break”): Caffeine-Free Chai Latte (Serves 1-2)
1 bag of rooibos chai tea (rooibos is naturally caffeine-free)
2 cups of boiling water
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon almond butter (creamy is preferred)
2 dates (optional)
Cover the teabag and dates (if using) with 2 cups of boiling water and steep for a few minutes.
Discard the tea bag & place tea, soaked dates, tahini + almond butter into a blender.
Blend until creamy.
Serve and Enjoy!
Tip: You can try this with other nut or seed butters to see which flavor combination you like the best. Cashew butter anyone?
Leave a comment below and let me know what first step you’re going to take today. Also, take a photo to share on Instagram! Tag me @naturewellnessbeauty so I can see, and give me a follow if you don’t already! I’d love to stay connected!
Thank you for being here on this journey with me. I'm truly honored you're here. xo, jess
I’m a small town Oregonian, a scientist, an integrative nutrition health coach, and a crunchy mom. Passionate about natural living, long distance cycling, cooking with my littles, cashew milk ice cream + margaritas (on the rocks - salt, please!).
My passion is helping people conquer their wellness goals and create a more natural, sustainable lifestyle. My love of nature and natural remedies have led me to dive deep into essential oils and creating simple, all natural household and personal care products on my own. My blog started on a simple premise of sharing my journey to a more natural lifestyle, including the science behind many natural remedies, DIY recipes, tips, and ways to save money using plant-based alternatives. Now, as I emerge from my health coach training program, I have married my passion to my purpose, combining all aspects of health and wellness with a holistic approach to create a platform that delivers online tools that bring you into alignment with where you want to be.
I don’t promote diets, fitness, or weight loss as a goal - I encourage my clients to seek out what works for their individual body chemistry + spirit. We will look at how all parts of your life affect your health as a whole.
I am so happy you are here, and I look forward to getting to know you. Learn more >>>
I am not a doctor. I am not here to diagnose, treat, or cure any of your illnesses. The content I share is for informational purposes only.
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