Did you know that if you sleep well, you can improve your weight, optimize your performance of your brain and muscles, and balance your stress and appetite hormones?
Here are some tips for better sleep:
1. Be consistent. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
2. Use your bed for sleep and romance only. Take the reading and the Netflix outside.
3. Reset your sleep wake cycle: Expose your eyes and skin to 20 minutes of sun every morning. This exposure tells your brain to make hormones like melatonin that are key to healthy sleep, mood and aging.
4. Create total darkness and quietness in your room when you sleep. Remove all electronics, including your ticking clock. Use thicker curtains, or eye shades.
5. Avoid exercise vigorously after dinner.
6. Eat at least 3 hours before bed. Also make sure you have 4-6 ounces of protein at dinner, so you keep your blood sugar level at night.
7. Avoid alcohol. Beer, wine, spirits interrupt your sleep in the middle of the night.
8. Avoid caffeine after noon, since it can also stimulate your nervous system. Opt for calming herbal teas like chamomile or lemon balm tea.
9. Use orange fluorescent light bulbs in your bedroom, or get a salt lamp. Download a program from www.justgetflux.com for your computer to adjust the blue glow so it imitates the day night cycle, get a similar app for your phone.
10. Massage your feet or do a few stretches to relax your body.
11. Listen to a guided meditation or body scan relaxation CD before bed.
12. If you mind can’t stop turning, write down your worries or your to-do list.
Find a friend to partner up with you for this next 30 days, and see how these little shifts can steer you to a happier, healthier life!
Dr. Onna Lo