September 03, 2016

CBQuality: Sleep So You Can Live


Claire Fountain at writes about the importance of sleep and shares some tips to form healthy sleeping habits!


I’m a sleeper, and a good one at that. Always thought it the most blessed of qualities; the ease of falling asleep, staying asleep, and valuing sleep. But I’m the rarity now. 

In a world where we glorify pulling all nighters or believe we can “sleep when we are dead” or that “sleep is for the weak,” few really know the importance of sleep these days. 

How could I be a proponent of wellness (things that make you feel better, and don’t hurt you or link wellness talk) and not tell people to take a moment to check out their sleep patterns?

A lack of sleep has been linked to the obvious being tired and fatigued, but also depression, memory issues, lowered immunity, decreased productivity, weakened hand-eye coordination, weight gain, lowered sex drive, and lackluster skin that ages quicker. Being tired makes you impaired, whether you’d like to accept it or not. 

Quality and quantity matter in terms of sleep. After listening to the panel of speakers at theCasper Sleep Symposium, it turns out that only 1% of people can survive on less than 6 hours of sleep a night (due to a genetic issue) while the rest of us still need 7-9 hours. Many have become so accustomed to sleep deprivation now that this flawed normal has become accepted. 

Here are some tips and thoughts on sleep // 

/ Make sleep a priority, and be kind to yourself. Lose the guilt associated with needing to sleep and valuing it. 

/ Make sure your sleep space is comfortable for you.  Invest a good mattress and pillows, as well as linens that feel the best for you and your likes and temperature needs. Adjust lights to create dimming options to assist in sleep, choose dark curtains if you need, and turn off all noise if you sleep best in silence. Set the temperature cooler than usual, as we sleep better when its cool, ideally 60-67* F / 15-19* C . 

/ Learn meditation techniques to slow down and get to sleep quicker and easier. Start by learning the art of relaxing each part of your body, one by one. Relax the muscles of the face. Make your exhales twice and long as your inhales before you resume regular breathing. 

/ Avoid foods or substances that interrupt your sleep. Caffeine is a notorious offender, sugars, heavy foods, etc. Sleep aids can also cause their own problems…so before you pop something to sleep, do your research. 

/ Limit technology use before bed, and especially IN bed. I’m just as guilty as anyone else, but have to make myself keep the laptop out of bed, and the phone away from bed past a quick alarm check.  I’m even thinking of getting a separate alarm just so I can ditch the phone for extended amounts of time. Utilize privacy mode so calls and text notifications don’t wake you up, and tempt you to check. FOMO is real for many, but sleep matters more. 

/ Napping… is a personal decision. Life happens and sometimes we have upsets to our sleep schedules and need naps. Other times, naps interfere with an otherwise healthy sleeps overnight.

/ All healing requires sleep. We spend all day tearing down our body's systems as a means of living, and sleep is when the body repairs itself. This goes for internal processes and organs but also our psychological or mental states. Sleep can help one process past traumas, and issues that are difficult to focus on during waking states and gives the conscious mind a rest. 

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