Heal Thy Sleep
Almost all of our physiological functions run on a 24-hour clock, known as the “circadian rhythm”. This includes our sleep/wake cycle, which is regulated by environmental cues (eg. light/dark & the timing of our meals).
When our circadian rhythm is altered due to changes in the above cues, as well as our stress response, our sleep can become disrupted.
Without optimal sleep, we don’t give our body the chance to recover and restore from our daily activities.
If this occurs chronically, we leave ourselves open to fatigue, immune dysregulation & metabolic disturbance.
Create a sleep sanctuary
Ensure your room is dark & cool and only use it for sex & sleep
For optimal sleep, we need the environmental cue of darkness to help trigger the production of the hormone melatonin from the pineal gland, which initiates sleep.
Artificial light can interfere with our natural production of melatonin which can reduce the quality and quantity of sleep. Keep your bedroom technology free (eg. Computers, TV’s & phones), & aim to stop looking at these at least 30 minutes before bed.
Help reduce circadian rhythm disruption by ensuring your meal times are regular.
Whether you fast, eat 3 meals a day or 5, as long as they are at roughly the same time every day (and avoiding late at night), you can help your body clock tick the right way and at the right time.
Unfortunately, those who frequently travel overseas or have shift-work are often forced into irregular eating patterns. This can contribute to feelings of fatigue and jet lag.
If you’re a traveller, prepare your own meals and then choose to eat these at a time that correlates with the same meal time at your new destination. Eg. If you’re flying during the night, eat at a time that correlates with their dinner time. This signals to the body that you’re on a new time schedule.
Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes exercise per day. Exercise is integral to increasing the quality and quantity of your sleep!
Practice mindfulness/meditation daily
Increased production of stress hormones such as cortisol can cause sleep to become shorter, light and increasingly interrupted. Reducing the over-activity of our stress response can help improve the quality & quantity of our sleep.
Last hour of the day…
Make it all about you!
Whether its running an epsom salt bath to help you relax, reading a book, meditating or giving your dog a cuddle. Creating your own wind-down routine will be invaluable in helping you to catch some serious zzz’s.