How Sleep Can Revitalize Your Body and Mind

Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com has done it again with another informative article!  Check it out here.

sleep

Image courtesy of Pixabay

When we lose out on restful sleep, our bodies tend to age before their time. If you’re tired or feeling run down and a bit haggard, it might be due to lack of proper rest. After all, nothing replenishes us the way a good night’s slumber does.

 

Why Sleep Keeps Us Youthful

How do you feel after a night of no sleep? Is your thinking slowed and your energy nonexistent, and do you notice new lines beneath your eyes? If so, you’re not alone, as poor sleep can make us feel and look older than we are. Our cortisol levels shoot up, our brains can’t properly restore themselves, and we look as haggard as we feel. Your mind and body both need this time to reset themselves and flush out toxins, which helps us stay healthy and energetic. Unfortunately, trying to force ourselves to slumber through sheer will alone seldom works. Instead, we need to be proactive about our patterns to change our sleep habits.

 

Transform Your Bedroom

If your room is uncomfortable, stressful, or too stimulating, you may not be sleeping as well as you could. If you have a television where you can watch from bed, a lumpy mattress, or curtains that let in every stream of light, then it’s definitely time for a change. Have good bedding, including both linens and your mattress, and add blackout curtains to extend your rests. Every change adds up, so transform your bedroom into a paradise today.

 

Best Sleep Position

Sleeping on your back is the best way to avoid the development of premature wrinkles, but there are options for side sleepers to overcome this problem. Adding a body pillow to take some of your weight, or using a silk pillowcase, can greatly cut down the strain your skin experiences at night. Supplements, meanwhile, can provide vitamins and collagen that our skin needs to stay youthful, which allows us to continue side sleeping without fear. Even a good moisturizer can go a long way to helping your skin fill in lines created from the pull of a pillow.

 

Banishing Tech

Many of us use smartphones into the late hours, but that can deprive us of restful sleep. The light from our phones and tablets signals to our brains that it is daytime, and thereby prevents us from beginning the sleep process. It can be hard to put your phone down at a certain time each night, as tech addiction is very real in today’s society, but we must learn how. Start by removing notifications from your phone, taking off tempting apps and cutting back in increments. All in all, do what you can to eliminate your tech usage before bed.

 

Eat for Good Rest

What we eat can impact the quality of our rest. When we eat poorly or consume foods that cause indigestion, our sleep is interrupted, and we may wake throughout the night. Even drinking coffee in the afternoon can negatively influence how well we slumber. To give yourself the boost you need, reach for healthy carbs over empty ones, and don’t overeat before bed. Cherries, milk, and poultry are also good options to ease you into a refreshingly restful night.

 

Keep a Routine

When you go to bed at different hours, and when you wake up irregularly too, you’re setting your body up for failure. It has no ability to learn when it should get sleepy or when it will awaken. That’s why setting a nighttime routine and sticking to it even when you don’t work the next day is beneficial. By teaching your body to rest at a specific hour, you give yourself a higher possibility of falling asleep when you lie down.

 

To keep your complexion flawless and to have more energy during the day, get the sleep your body craves. It may take some training, and you may need to rearrange your bedroom, but you can get more rest. Each and every one of us deserves a good night of slumber.

 

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Kick A Foot Or Leg Out

Many of you are already aware of the “one leg out” sleeping position, in which one leg is hooked over the covers, while the other leg remains nestled under them. This clever approach to cooling the body down during sleep actually has a scientific basis.
The body prepares for sleep by dropping its core temperature, and in the deepest stages of sleep, body temperature actually dips a couple of degrees below normal. This is part of the natural physiology of slumber. Even some of the pre-bedtime rituals which some people adopt, such as taking a warm bath or drinking a cup of hot herbal tea, cause the body temperature to cool rapidly, priming it for sleep.

When we uncover our feet but keep the rest of our bodies snug under the bedclothes, or we swing one leg over the covers, we enable the blood vessels of the feet to dissipate body heat and keep us cool, which further supports restful sleep. Besides, who enjoys sweating while trying to sleep?

Some scientists even recommend keeping feet uncovered while sleeping at night, especially if you are sleeping next to a partner or pets (those of you who have pets know that they often sleep ON you). Another tip is to keep your bedroom temperature between 60 and 68 degrees, so if you are in the habit of cranking up the heat to keep your home warm and cozy, you might want to drop the thermostat setting at night while you sleep.

I Just Had To Get A New Pillow

Pillow

The combination of a poorly cooled townhouse (the result of an untimely coil leak in the central air conditioning), night sweats, cats who think it’s cool to use me as a natural radiator, aches and pains in my hips, legs, shoulders, forearms and hands, and a recurrent neck strain have all robbed me of sleep almost every night this summer. With the exception of the cat issue, I was determined to find solutions to all of the sleep robbing elements in my life.

The central air conditioning is finally going to be replaced within the next week (HALLELUJAH!), the night sweats have abated somewhat (due to better hormonal balance in my perimenopausal body), and the aches and pains have been better as a result of fantastic chiropractic work by Dr. Ryan Pendon and Dr. Ryan Chapman from Urban Med. I realized that the neck strain was aggravated by pillows which did a horrible job of supporting my noggin, so I figured I could buy new ones.

Since I always buy new pillows for my bed every year in the autumn months, and wasn’t quite due for a new set, I hesitated on making a purchase. But the pillows I had been sleeping on since November were no longer fluffable, and at night, my head would sink right onto the mattress. I could literally feel the mattress through the pillows! I will admit that I am highly sensitive to tactile changes, just like the princess who could feel the pea through 20 mattresses. So I toughed it out and figured that I would just somehow get used to having deflated pillows. Then I got one of those mailers from Bed, Bath and Beyond, with a 20% off coupon on any one item. After thinking about it for a week, I decided to buy one pillow at a 20% discount.

I ended up with an Isotonic® Indulgence™ Side Sleeper Pillow, originally priced at $59 but which I paid $47 and some change for after using my coupon. This pillow is for side sleepers, but isn’t as firm as some of the other side sleeper pillows I found. Since I always start out my night on my back, I can’t deal with a very firm pillow because it wrenches my neck into an uncomfortable flexed position. The perfect pillow has to be a perfect balance of support and softness, with some loft, but soft enough that it doesn’t feel like my head is resting on a Bosu ball. So far (it has been a couple of nights since I started using this pillow to sleep on), this pillow is doing the trick for me.

Now I only have to deal with one, or actually, THREE issues which interrupt my slumber. The cats rule the roost in our house and have free access to my room, which means that if they want to wrap their perspiration-inducing, furry bodies around me in the middle of the night, I am not exactly going to do anything to prevent them from doing so. However, it is a small price to pay for their constant and unconditional love!