The Foundation Habit of Sleep
Sleep — why do you need it? Good question.
Fostering good habits of exercise, eating right and sleeping are intertwined and synergistic. According to Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before, suggests that “people who work on one positive habit often find it easier to improve in other areas.” (58) So where should you start? I’m going to suggest by improving your sleep patterns, also called sleep hygiene. It is a habit with big payoff.
Forget starting with quick fixes or “easy out things” like quitting a non-influential habit. Instead begin with a habit that directly influences and strengthens your body and mind to be successful in forming good healthy habits.
Rubin observed that “habits in four areas do most to boost feelings of self-control, and in this way strengthen the Foundation of all our habits.” (59) For example, moving your body helps you sleep and sleep aids in your body functioning optimally. So sleep will give you a big payoff simply by restoring, rebuilding, repairing and rejuvenating. Allowing your body time to shut down and rebuild on a nightly basis enables you to begin each day with energy and enthusiasm. Making an effort to improve your sleep habits can enhance your quality of life and give you the motivation you need to achieve your health goals. The end result is improved immunity, humming happy hormones, greater mental clarity, better appetite control, improved mood, and a grateful attitude about your life. Many win-win benefits just from getting enough zzz’s.
To help you along in making sleep a healthy helpful habit, try one or more of these nutritional tips.
5 Tips to Improve Your Sleep With Nutrition
- Avoid raising blood sugar levels at night — Refrain from eating within two hours of your bedtime. However, if you are hunger, choose a low fat protein and low glycemic fruit. This combination helps to convert tryptophan to serotonin to calm you down for sleep, as well, begin the production of melatonin to allow you to sleep.
- Avoid drinking fluids too close to bedtime.
- Exercise daily – this will burn the stress hormones, help you to fall asleep faster and deeper.
- Maintain hormonal balance – hot flashes usually occur due to an imbalance of blood sugars or may be triggered from the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, red meats or sugar. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels have been linked through research to hot flashes.
- Create a sleep routine — give yourself enough time in bed to sleep your ideal length of time that you wake rested and refreshed. Go to bed at the same time every day and get up at the same time.
Learn More About Sleep
Web Article: “Get More Sleep”
Need some help put action to your desire for change? Brenda can help you improve your foundational habits of eating right, sleeping, moving your body and decluttering your life. Book a FREE Discovery Chat to uncover what your next step might be — after all, the first step is the hardest and that is the one of action. Email or call to schedule your no-obligation chat.
How have you changed your sleep habits? What worked best for you? Share with a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.
Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, Doubleday Canada, 2015.