How do you feel upon waking in the morning?
Do you feel as though you would love to just pull the covers back over your head and go back to sleep for a few more hours?
Or do you feel as though you give yourself enough hours of restful sleep to really restore and rejuvenate your body from the inside out?
Often there are times we fail to realise that, whilst we sleep, our bodies take on the huge and necessary responsibility of repairing our internal organs, muscles, skeletal system and skin. Optimal sleep is also vital for weight regulation, our reproductive health and immunity.
Although our brains are still actively processing thoughts, experiences and information, our resting period provides ample opportunity for recovery which in turn aids our ability to concentrate and be productive during our waking hours.
Sleep is also a crucial time for our brain and bodies to clear out toxins that accumulate during the day. This detoxification is the primary role of our liver which is attuned to a certain rhythm that varies throughout the day, sleep deprivation can alter this rhythm making it more challenging for the liver to do its job effectively.
How much sleep do we need?
The amount of sleep we need varies from person to person, the best way to find out how much sleep you need is to check in with yourself and be mindful of how you feel during the day after more or less sleep.
Here is a rough guide to how much sleep may suit us at certain stages of our lives:
Newborn to 3 months old 14-17 hours
4 to 11 months old 12-15 hours
1 to 2 years old 11-14 hours
3 to 5 years old 10-13 hours
6 to 13 years old 9-11 hours
14 to 17 years old 8-10 hours
Young adults 18 to 25 years old 7-9 hours
Adults 26 to 64 years old 7-9 hours
Older adults 65 + 7-8 hours
(stats by the national sleep foundation)
It can be difficult to get adequate amounts of sleep, after all we are all human and lots of things can get in the way of getting a good night’s rest. Little niggles, worries, or the unforseen demands of being a parent can certainly mean we get less sleep on a regular basis! And ladies do you find it hard to fall asleep or get comfortable during different stages of your cycle? Our hormones definitely have a part to play in getting enough shut eye too!
So how can we best serve our bodies and how can we wind down and prepare for a truly restorative sleep?
Unwind with a bath soak, to relax your mind and body. A bath soak filled with beautiful essential oils such as chamomile or lavender will help aid a restful sleep by calming your adrenals.
Magnesium is a powerful sleep aid, using a topical spray has become a natural part of our bedtime routine as well as ensuring we eat lots of magnesium rich foods such as almonds, avocados and green leafy vegetables.
Try and establish a bedtime body clock, to allow yourself enough time to rest and restore your body. We love hopping into bed by 10pm!
Do you sometimes find that bright lights after dark stimulate your senses? We all produce melatonin which helps regulate our sleep cycles. By limiting bright lights from your electronics you will help your body along in getting ready for a restful sleep. Try dimming the lights on your electronics or using candle lights instead.
Stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine can also rock our sleep habits. Some people are a little more sensitive than others. If you find that your afternoon coffee is keeping you up, possibly try swapping it for a calming caffeine free tea such as chamomile or rooibos. Try sipping on a cup or two a few hours before bed.
It certainly takes time to get into a true sense of bedtime routine that works for you…but please be patient with yourself.
You will certainly feel the benefits in the weeks to come.
We would love to hear what works for you and any tips that add value to your quality of sleep and how it effects your feelings, thoughts and wellbeing throughout your waking hours.
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