How to sleep your way to the top
This Feel Good Friday, I'd like to encourage you to sleep your way to the top! I know, right? That’s a little bit sensational and that’s exactly how I felt when The Little Red Dress (a Women’s club at the Norman Manley Law School) asked me to give a talk with that title.
Shock and horror, but fret not! We were not talking about that kind of sleeping your way to the top.
I am a firm believer that there are only two things that you are supposed to do in your bedroom. Both of which begins with the letter “s”. Go figure!
So today, I'd like to encourage you to get enough sleep!
According to the National Sleep Council, people between the ages of 17-25 need to be getting between 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Anyone over the age of 25 needs to get between 7-8 hours sleep per night.
One of the reasons why sleep is so important is to remove the build up of metabolites from your brain. Metabolites are the bi-product of metabolism and even though the brain only weighs between 3 and 4 lbs, it uses up about 20% of the body’s energy.
So, every night when we sleep, our brain is essentially doing its housekeeping. Not getting enough sleep is going to lead to brain fog, crankiness, and irritability the following day - not to mention the aches and pains.
But more so than that, not getting enough sleep diminishes your ability to learn. Chronically not getting enough sleep can lead to your brain getting smaller. And that doesn’t sound good, does it? Chronic inadequate sleep also leads to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, increased inflammation, and potentially even cancer!
So this Feel Good Friday, I want to help you to invest in getting a great night's sleep. And here are my top 10 tips to getting those much-needed Zs:
Cut the caffiene during the day! The half life of caffeine is 6 hours, which means 6 hours after you drink caffeine you still have half the amount of caffeine circulating in your body. So, a cup of coffee at 8am with 90mg of caffeine, you still have 45mg left in your body at 2pm and at 8pm you still have 22.5mg and maybe you’re not just drinking one cup of coffee or coffee is not your only source of caffeine.
Cut the nicotine habit! It still surprises me that people smoke and if you do, you should know that withdrawal from nicotine starts to kick in between 4-6 hours after your last hit. A cigarette before bed will keep your mind racing. Therefore, this withdrawal has the potential to wake you up.
Try to go to sleep in a cool room. The ideal room temperature for sleep is between 60 - 67 degrees Fahrenheit. So use your fan or AC if you can afford to. A little tip that I like is to sleep with a misting bottle on your bedside table, or have a nice cool shower right before bed
Try to go to sleep in a dark room. It’s amazing how many sources of light exist in your bedroom, and therefore not make your room completely dark and so check any little devices for Red, Green or Blue lights and even consider sleeping with an eye mask.
Try to go to sleep in a quiet room - If the noise is not within your control, I would invest in an inexpensive pair of earplugs. It’s worth the peace and quiet.
Get rid of the back-lit devices! The blue light that is emitted from our devices interferes with your body’s natural sleep way cycle, which is also known as your circadian rhythm. Therefore your body is tricked into thinking it’s still day.
Get a good amount of exercise regularly. This not just improves the quantity of your sleep but also the quality. Because you need to get into that deep restorative sleep.
Consider some herbs or essential oils for good sleep. Such as: Ashwaganda, Chamomile, Vetiver or Lavender. (of course under proper guidance and advice.)
Manage your stress levels throughout the day for a better night sleep. With the use of yoga, meditation or deep breathing, you can significantly reduce your body’s stress levels and therefore enjoy a more restful night’s sleep.
Write in your journal! Writing in your journal about all the things that you’ve accomplished in your day or that youre grateful for in your life can help to get the circulating ideas outside of your brain and down on to paper and tend to put you in a good mood just before bed so that your sleep can be more peaceful.
Put these 10 tips into action so that you can sleep your way to the top of your game by being the best you that you can be and by feeling your best.
That’s my wish for you this Feel Good Friday!