The Science of Sleep

By: Monica McCarthy

While the quality of the food we eat has a profound affect on our health, the quality of our sleep is just as important. This is especially true during a Reboot, when our systems are working hard to get healthy and, well, reboot.
Sleep isn’t just about mental health!

Sleep and weight loss: Lack of sleep decreases our metabolism and inhibits our ability to make positive choices when it comes to the food we eat.

Sleep and long-term health: Sleep deprivation is directly linked to numerous long-term health problems including:

– High Blood Pressure
– Heart attack
– Heart failure
– Stroke

Tips for getting your zzzzz…

Close the curtains. “What makes you fall asleep are changes in the level of the hormone melatonin circulating in your body. By making your days lighter and your nights darker, you can improve both the quality of your sleep and the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep.” Mark Stibich, PhD

Have a consistent Sleep Schedule. Consistency is king (Yes- that includes the weekends)! Bonus points for sleeping approximately 7-8 hours per night, depending on your individual needs.

Make your bed. Treating your bed as a peaceful sanctuary calms the mind and creates a relaxing space.

Take a warm bath or shower. A slight elevation of body temperature combined with the soothing properties of warm water on our muscles are terrific for helping us feel sleep. Add some lavender bath salts or shower gel for ultimate relaxation.

Focus on feeling rested. Often we can lose sleep simply because we are so worried we aren’t getting sleep! When anxiety starts to take over, focus on the breath and remember that the body is still at rest, and therefore recuperating.

Avoid stimulants. These include caffeine, sugar, and nicotine. Luckily this one is a no brainer for us– thanks Reboot!

Say no to the “night cap.” Although that glass of Merlot may help you fall fast asleep, studies consistently show that alcohol has a negative affect on the quality of our sleep and leads causes restlessness once the alcohol starts to wear off. Yet another reason not to imbibe during your Reboot.

What are your tricks of the trade for getting a good night’s sleep?

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Monica McCarthy

Monica McCarthy is a certified Holistic Healthy Lifestyle Coach specializing in the benefits of a plant-based diet. She lives in NYC with her fiance and their rescue pup.

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