123's to Catching Your Zzzz's
March is National Sleep Month and a good time to remind you how crucial good sleep is to your health. Not getting enough can lead to weakened immunity, impaired memory and problem solving, impaired healing, hormonal imbalance, irritability, high blood pressure, weight gain, and even stress fractures when combined with overloading your system. It can also contribute to stress, muscle tension, and heightened pain response!
Here are some tips to fall asleep and stay asleep:
Try to keep to a regular sleep and wake time schedule, even on weekends.
Shut the electronics down at least 30min prior to lying down.
Keep the room dark, cool, and quiet. Try a silk sleep mask or blackout curtains. Try a fan, a sound machine, or white noise app if you do better with ambient sound.
Take a warm bath with epsom salts or magnesium flakes before bed. Add a little lavender oil.
Drink a cup of warm chamomile tea.
Do a brain dump into a journal or pad of paper on the nightstand. If you wake up in the middle of the night with a racing mind, jot the thoughts down and tell your brain that this is not the time to think about it!
Breathe. Try 5-10 reps of the 4-7-8 breathing method, or Box breathing to tap into your parasympathetic system and dial your system down.
Meditate for 10 to 15 minutes prior to bed.
Listen to guided meditation for sleep.
Read a chapter or two in a book.
Daily exercise. 30 min of moderate to vigorous exercise a day is recommended.