“Get Quality Sleep” is the first tip on the Basics page. It may seem boring, basic, obvious…or maybe not that important, but I believe sleep is an often neglected but essential first step to health and wellness.
I love to sleep. I jokingly say I’m neither a night owl nor an early bird – I’m a bear, I like to hibernate! I would love to sleep about 10pm-7am plus take an afternoon nap every day.
Unfortunately, that’s hard to do with a toddler and everything else life brings. When I don’t get enough sleep, it has a terrible effect on my physical and mental energy and wellbeing. When I’m feeling off, the first thing I try to do is get my sleep schedule back on track.
I’m not a sleep expert, so I’ve included a list of resources below to help convince you (if your skeptical) about the benefits of sleep and also help you form good habits and deal with sleep disturbances. Here are a few quick reasons why quality sleep is important:
Sleep for Weight Loss
Sleep deprivation can sabotage your weight loss goals in a variety of ways including:
- Increased cravings (especially sugar) and eating to compensate for lack of energy
- Fatigue interferes with your ability to make good decisions and have the willpower to follow through
- Lack of energy for effective workouts
Sleep for Health
- Sleep is vital for our body to rest, repair, and grow
- Inadequate sleep can increase your risk of obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- Insufficient sleep can negatively impact memory, judgment, and mood
- Most adults need 7-8 hours a night, but needs vary and can be affected by poor quality sleep or accumulated sleep debt
- Be consistent with your daily routines, including sleep time, wake time, and bedtime routine
- Decrease stimulation as you approach bedtime, including exercise, caffeine, alcohol, technology & artificial lighting
- Harvard Medical School: Get Sleep
- National Sleep Foundation
- Mayo Clinic: Sleep
- Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine: Tips for Good Sleep
- Discovery Health: Sleep Basics
- National Institutes of Health: National Center on Sleep Disorders Research
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Sleep
- Yoga Journal: Yoga Poses for Insomnia
- How to Sleep Better Naturally
- Michael Hyatt: 5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Nap Everyday and Podcast The Secret Power of Naps
- Zen Habits: 10 Benefits of Rising Early, and How to Do It
- Dr. Marc Weissbluth: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (this was my #1 resource for getting my baby on a good sleep schedule, and also great for educating about sleep patterns in general)
What tips do you have for getting a good night’s sleep?