10 Tips to Help Improve Your Night’s Sleep

By Tracy Gowler 6 years ago
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Last week we talked about food and how it can help with sleep but what about things non-food related?

There are a lot of things that you can do to improve the way you sleep. 

I’m going to give you 10 things that you should work on to help make your sleep better since it is so important in the way you live healthy.

Make bedroom inviting for sleeping – When you sleep, your bedroom should be dark and cooler than the rest of your house. The goal is to help your body with the circadian rhythm that it needs to kick off all of the functions that it tackles while you sleep.  If you are too warm and your body is recognizing light it is going to struggle to sleep the way that you need to get a good night’s sleep.  So make your room dark.  And have the temperature between about 60-67F.  We don’t want you freezing either. That won’t help your sleep but somewhere in that range that works for you is what you want to shoot for.

Bed is for sleeping and sex only – Your bed is for sleeping and your body should be conditioned to sleep in that space. Make sure your mattress is comfy so when you do get to bed, you can snuggle in and just relax.  If you are watching tv or the computer or working in any fashion, get out of bed and go do it somewhere else.

Establish a pattern – Sleep is about the circadian rhythms. When we didn’t have electricity, people’s days revolved around the rising and setting of the sun.  Your day should still mimic this kind of a schedule.  To help your body with that rhythm, pick a time to wake and a time to begin the winding down process in the evening and then bed time.  Make it part of your schedule.  Try not to vary from it.  Your body will very much appreciate it.

Try to avoid naps. I know, I love them too and sometimes I just give in and take that nap.  If you are struggling with autoimmune or chronic illness this one could be hard.  Naps are important to you because just getting through the day can be exhausting so I get it.  Take the nap if you need it.  For everyone else, if you are napping because you are bored, go find something to do.  Napping can completely disrupt your night’s sleep so don’t do it.

Avoid caffeine after noon. Caffeine is something I recommend all my clients stop because it is so impactful to our adrenals and they already struggle hard enough with the stress that our lives exist within. However, if you love your coffee, just make sure you are done with it by noon, so your adrenals can settle down and allow you to sleep at night.

Avoid alcohol within 2-3 hours of bed time. Alcohol is converted to sugar in the body.  Sugar fuels the blood sugar, insulin release, the adrenals, etc.  It is fuel for the body, not good fuel but it does fuel the energy levels in the body.  If you like that glass of wine with your meal, just make sure you give yourself that little treat 2-3 hours before bedtime to allow your system to settle down prior to bed.

Exercise is so important. Our bodies aren’t meant to be sedentary.  Exercise is just good for your health in general and you should be getting at least 30 min every day of either lean muscle building or cardio.  You do need both. Avoid stressful activity in the evenings if possible as this could also disrupt your sleep, especially if you have crossed the threshold and activated your adrenals.  They can absolutely impact your sleep if they are over taxed.

No food after 7pm. It is just really hard on your system to go to bed with a fell belly.  The digestive system is pumping away trying to work through the food and your body should be focusing on the other nighttime activities that are necessary for proper function.  Give yourself a break and make sure you have at least 2 hours after food before going to bed.

Avoid blue light for 2 hours prior to bed. There are plenty of studies about the effects of blue light on your systems while we sleep and not in a good way.  Blue light is the light from computers, TVs and cellphones and it mimics the daylight.  If you are spending a lot of time watching tv or on your cellphone later in the evening, it is not allowing your body to take advantage of the natural circadian rhythm of the earth as the sun sets.  The body relies on this for preparation for sleep.  Giving yourself the 2 hours free from these types of devices to allow your body the preparation time it needs prior to going to bed

No technology in the bedroom.  No computers, Tv’s, cellphones.  They emit electromagnetic waves that can be very disruptive to people, especially as we sleep.  I have had clients completely improve their sleep just be eliminating these devices from the bedroom.  Give it a try.

There you have it.  No more excuses for bad sleep.  You now know what you can do from a food perspective and in general.  If you are still struggling after implementing all of these things, it is time to dive in and get down to the root cause of what is going on.  We will cover dysfunction in the body that can absolutely disrupt sleep next time.  Stay tuned for so much more on sleep.  Who knew there was so much to say about sleep?

Have a great week.

 

Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

Categories:
  Autoimmune Disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Health, Healthy Lifestyle, Sleep, Tracy's Corner
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 Tracy Gowler

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