There’s nothing quite like getting a good nights sleep. Waking up refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the world and your kids is the ideal feeling that we all would love to have.
The challenge is that in our modern society, millions of people are chronically sleep deprived especially after they become parents.
Most people don’t realize that their continuous sleep problems are also a catalyst for the diseases and appearance issues they’re dealing with.
Now, for parents this can stretch out over weeks, months, and years!
The challenge is that in our modern society, millions of people are chronically sleep deprived…
…sleep deprivation is directly related to an inability to lose weight.
Here are 10 TIPS you implement to radically improve your sleep starting TONIGHT:
(and avoid these chronic issues in the first place)
Know the value of sleep.
Hard to believe but many people are negligent about getting enough sleep because they truly don’t understand the benefits they’re getting from it.
So what is sleep? And why is it important?
Sleep a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body. If you’re not doing it, then you’re being completely unnatural.
What’s more important is knowing the big prizes that sleep gives you. Generally, being awake is catabolic (breaks you down) and sleep is anabolic (builds you up). Sleep is actually an elevated anabolic state, heightening the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, skeletal, and muscular systems. Basically, sleep rebuilds you and keeps you youthful.
High quality sleep fortifies your immune system, balances your hormones, boosts your metabolism, increases physical energy, and improves the function of your brain.Action step: Discuss with your family how you can maximize the amount of sleep you get every night. Make it fun and encourage family members to come up with creative ideas.
Get more sunlight during the day.
One of the most vital things that induces great sleep is your body’s natural secretion of a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in your brain and sends a signal to regulate the sleep-wake cycle in your body.
The production and secretion of melatonin is powerfully affected by light exposure. Sunlight provides the natural spectrum of light that we need to help coordinate the cycle of melatonin production. Get more light during the day, less light at night, and you’re on your way to having a magic sleep formula.Action step: Go outside and play with your kids, go for a walk with your partner and bask in the sun together.
Avoid the screen.
This is likely the #1 thing you can do to improve your sleep quality immediately. The artificial “blue” light emitted by electronic screens trigger your body to produce more daytime hormones (like cortisol) and disorient your body’s natural preparation for sleep.
Computers, iPads, televisions, smartphones, etc are kicking out a sleep-sucking blue spectrum of light that can give you and your family major sleep problems.Actions step: If you want to give your body the deep sleep it needs, make it a mandate to turn off all screens a full hour before bedtime. Use this time to read in bed or read stories your your kids – it’s a great bonding experience.
Use a blue light blocker.
Extenuating circumstances come up, and you may need to be on the computer later than you want. This is where cool advancements in technology can come in to help smooth things out. There is a free application called f.lux that automatically eliminates all of the problematic blue light from computer screen at a certain time each day (you can get similar things for your smartphone too).
Again, the best solution is to shut down the technology at least an hour before bed if you’re serious about getting great sleep. But this is a tool you can use that can definitely help you out along the way.Action Step: If you can’t substitute screen for book – make sure you and your family uses filters on their screens.
Have a caffeine curfew.
We all love coffee but caffeine is also a powerful nervous system stimulant. If your nervous system is lit up, you can forget about getting high quality sleep. Set an unbreakable curfew stop time to make sure that your body has time to remove it from your system. For most people, it’s generally going to be before 4 p.m. But if you’re really sensitive to caffeine, then you might want to make your curfew even earlier, or possibly avoid caffeine altogether.
Action Step: Set caffeine curfew for yourself and your family – this includes tea and coffee. Substitute it with herbal teas and juices. And remember to make it fun!
Something called thermo-regulation strongly influences your body’s sleep cycles. When it’s time for your body to rest, there is an automatic drop in your core body temperature to help initiate sleep. If the temperature in your environment stays too high, then it can be a bit of a physiological challenge for your body to get into the ideal state for restful sleep. Studies have found that the ideal room temperature for sleep is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above 75 or below 54 will likely cause some difficulty sleeping.Action Step: Turn the bedroom temperature down. It’s better to put on expla layers then sweat in the middle of the night.
Get to bed at the right time.
This is key! And it’s also the most challenging thing when you are a parent. You can literally get amplified benefits of sleep by sleeping at the right hours. It’s been shown that humans get the most significant hormonal secretions and recovery by sleeping during the hours of 10 pm and 2 am. This is what we call “Mommy Battery Power Regenerator”.
You get the most rejuvenating effects during this time, and any sleep that you get in addition is a bonus..Action Step: Train your kids (and yourself) to be in bed before 10pm. That way the entire family will get the maximum benefits of deep relaxation only quality sleep can give you.
Use high quality magnesium.
Magnesium is a bona fide anti-stress mineral. It helps optimize circulation and blood pressure, balance blood sugar, relax tense muscles, reduce pain, and calm the nervous system. Yet, because it has so many functions, it tends to get depleted from our bodies rather fast.
Magnesium deficiency is likely the #1 mineral deficiency in our world today. And getting your magnesium levels up can almost instantly reduce your body’s stress load and improve the quality of your sleep.Actions Step:Add high quality magnesium to your family’s diet. There are magnesium supplements that are easily digestible by kids and ensure a good night’s sleep.
Get it blacked out.
It’s a well established fact that we sleep better in a dark environment. Yet, so many people aren’t taking full advantage of this.
Having light sources of any type in your bedroom can disrupt your sleep patterns. And even using an eye mask is not going to be 100% effective for most people.
Did you know that your skin actually has receptors that can pick up light? If there’s light in your bedroom, your body is picking it up and sending messages to your brain and organs that can interfere with your sleep. The best solution is: Black it out!Action Step: Get some of the now popular “blackout” curtains that are available from most retailers. And get any other sources of non-stop light out of your room tow. Sleep experts suggest that your room be so dark that you can’t see your hand in front of your face. Now, this can be scary for some kids but you can also make it a fun challenge for them.
Be early to rise
Ironically, one of the best things you can do to improve your sleep is to get up early. This usually is not difficult with small children but becomes a challenge as kids grow older.
By waking up early you start the process of helping your endocrine system link up with the diurnal patterns of the earth. Get up when the sun rises. You might start off having a challenging time, but after less than a couple of weeks, your body will adapt to that pattern and have you feeling more rested and refreshed when you wake up. You can get out of the old pattern of being up at night “tired and wired” by being early to rise and having a natural release of cortisol and going to bed earlier and taking advantage of the natural release of melatonin (that we talked about above).Action Step: Train yourself and your family to go to bed early and get up early. You can encourage your kids by citing quotes from Winnie the Pooh: “For early to bed, and early to rise will make a bear happy, and healthy besides.”