I think we all know that it is important to get a good night's rest. If we don't, we feel it the next day. Right!
Did you also know that during sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep. This is according to the Mayo Clinic, a pretty reliable source.
So how can we improve our sleep? Here are just a few things you can do:
1 - Stay out of bed until you’re tired. Studies show that lying in bed waiting to fall asleep can lead to sleep anxiety, which in turn makes it harder to doze off. You should really be sleepy before you get into bed, which means a feeling in your head behind your eyes; not just body fatigue.
- Engage in a calm and quiet activity, such as reading or listening to relaxing music, for an hour or two before bedtime. Avoid television and bright lights. If you can’t fall asleep, get out of bed and resume the calm, quiet activity until you’re drowsy.
- Put away the gadgets Light from electronic devices, including computers, cell phones, and televisions, stimulate the brain to get up and go. Avoiding your gadgets for 1-2 hours before bed will help ease your mind into sleep mode.
- Chronic exposure to blue light at night can give messages to our brain to reduce melatonin secretion, which tells us to wake up and be more alert.
2 - If you need to take a day time nap, keep it brief. 10 minutes max. People generally perform more sharply and function better right after a 10-minute nap. But getting too deep into the sleep cycle can have negative effects. And more than a half hour of napping may signal sleep deprivation.
- Exercising between 5 and 7 p.m. will leave you feeling calmer than a workout later in the night, prepping your body for the fast track to dreamland
- Do some stretching while in bed to relax your muscles
Think at what a cat does before going to sleep. The cat will do some really good stretching before she goes to sleep, and the question is how does this thing help the cat? Well, By stretching, the cat is relaxing her muscles and is getting ready to get some sleep.
3 - Use Aromatherapy. Diffuse essential oil to relax you and create a good atmosphere in your bedroom, just perfect for sleeping.
- Pamper yourself with a nice bath. You should take a bath with 1 or 2 hours prior to going to sleep, because the steam and that hot water will make you sleepy about 1-2 hours after the bath has been taken. Add a drop of essential oil to enhance the experience
- Practice Deep Breathing. Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it then release slowly through your mouth. Repeat several times. Enhance this process by breathing in an essential oil.
Here are a few essential oils to calm and help promote a relaxed feeling are - Lavender, Marjoram, Melissa, Petitgrain, Roman Chamomile, or Vetiver. These proprietary blends like Serenity, Balance, Breathe, or Adaptiv are also very helpful.
Want to learn more about these oils/blends? I would love to chat with you, contact me. Or leave a comment below
Blessings for a good night's rest.