Everyone knows how important sleep is. It determines your mood, brainpower, and even how you feel physically. But did you know that it also determines your hormones, energy level, and even how well you can recover from an illness?
Skip the caffeine and sugar
Have you ever noticed that it is usually late at night when the craving for something sweet hits? Caffeine and sugar boost your energy, and when you have either too much or have it too late in the day it tricks your body into thinking that it doesn’t need sleep. It keeps your mind awake even when your body is telling you that it is time to rest.
Learn to read the signals that your body gives you. When you are tired, go to sleep. It can be hard to put down that book when it gets to the really intense parts. And it may be even harder to get away from that computer when there is so much to do with so many distractions. When your body tells you that it’s tired, that is the sign that it needs that time to repair itself.
Getting outside in the sunlight during the day not only will help to reset your sleep cycle, but it also gives you a healthy dose of Vitamin D production. For a large amount of our day we are inside buildings with carpet and artificial lighting. Go out into the sunlight and get your hands dirty in the garden or go for a walk. Being outside has proven to relieve stress and create a healthy energy.
Our hormone production responds to light, even the light from a computer, TV, or a cell phone. It tricks the body into thinking that it is still daylight and interferes with your circadian rhythm and also disrupts the melatonin production. The lighting can prevent you from having a deep, restful sleep.
Once the sun goes down, dim down the lighting, and turn off the electronics a few hours before sleep. Sleeping in a dark room, using blackout curtains, or a sleeping mask will also help you to receive that deep, restful sleep your body needs.
Amy Myers, MD. ‘The Importance of Your Sleep Cycle (and How to Reset It). www.amymyersmd.com