Can you sleep your way to better health?
If you’ve ever wanted to win prizes just for dozing, here’s your chance!! March's Challenge is to get great sleep! Make sure to read all the way to the bottom to see the prizes and rules for this challenge! PLUS an exclusive offer ONLY available through this site!
I have written extensively about the importance of getting a good night's sleep! The last challenge was to healthify our kitchens, so I wanted this month's challenge to be extremely enjoyable! That is why I chose the most wonderful healthy habit:
Sleep is a life requirement. The longest known record for staying awake was clocked in around 264 hours (about 11 days) by a teenager in California back in 1965! While no known human death is recorded due to lack of sleep, according to Wikipedia,
Sleep deprivation can be either chronic or acute. A chronic sleep-restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and weight loss or weight gain. It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function.
Most of us will sacrifice this precious commodity for many varied reasons over the span of our lives. It's important, however, not to make it a (bad) habit! Consistently getting an excellent night's sleep can make a huge difference in your health!
Getting poor quality or not enough sleep can be detrimental to your health. Here are a few health problems that often occur when we come up lacking:
- Weakened immune system which can open the door to illness
- Weight gain because your body is producing less leptin and more ghrelin,. (read more here)
- Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and other mood related disorders can be a symptom of sleep deprivation and often correct with the return a regular bedtime and wake schedule.
- Increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes because sleep deprivation can prevent your body from regulating blood sugar levels properly.
- High Blood pressure is more likely to occur in people who get less than five hours per night.
- Can make us more accident prone to things such as car accidents or injuries at the workplace.
- Dementia and even Alzheimer's Disease
Sleep deprivation can also negatively affect lifestyle in the following ways:
- Reduces the attention span
- Reduces reaction time
- Impairs judgement
- Puffy or sunken eyes
- Dark circles under eyes
- More prominent wrinkles
- Lower libido
- Fatigue and malaise
Your surroundings, including your mattress and bedding, have a major impact on the quality and quantity of your sleep which determines how you will function and feel every day. I'm sure that it's not necessary to convince you how bad missing out on slumber is for your health.
Most people do not make a conscious choice to miss out on sleep. There are many life events that creep in on our sleep schedule. Occasionally, something will come up that will warrant missing a few hours of time in bed, however, this should never become the norm. So, guard the hours you schedule for sleeping!
Tips that may help you get your Z's more efficiently.
- Keep the temperature below 70 degrees; most experts say 65 degrees is the perfect temperature.
- Declutter your bedroom. Busy rooms will create an active mind and thinking keeps you awake!
- Using blackout curtains to darken your room to block as much light as possible.
- Keep electronics out of the bedroom as the light emitted from electronics can suppress your body’s melatonin production.
- Use white noise to help you fall asleep. At least 75% of people say that noises in the environment kept them from sleeping soundly.
- A mattress and pillow that are comfortable for you. If you suffer from aches and pains, it may be time to update your mattress. Over 90% of people polled cited a comfortable mattress as one of the top priorities for a good nights rest which should be one of the first steps to take if one is experiencing insomnia.
- Fresh sheets will help you look forward to bedtime as if you don’t already! Adding lavender essential oil to your dryer can help you to fall asleep faster.
- Skip caffeine after noon and also avoid other stimulants (such as energy drinks, chocolate) before bedtime.
- Drinking chamomile tea or Sleepytime tea an hour or so before bedtime can help you relax.
- Alcohol does not help you get better sleep, having several drinks might make you lethargic, but it offers a very low-quality rest that does not leave you feeling refreshed. Instead of rebuilding your body while you sleep, your body will be making up for the anti-diuretic hormones lost and repairing the metabolic cascade.(1)
- If your partner snores or keeps you awake at night consider separate beds. On average, couples who share a bed experience 50% more disturbances. (2) If you can't stand to be apart, try using white noise to cover snoring!
- A lukewarm bath can relax your muscles, but a hot bath will increase your body temperature and as a result make it harder to fall asleep!
- Deep breathing or the 5-5-5 breathing method can help. Take a breath for a count of five, hold for a count of five, then release for a count of five. (Can help with anxiety as well)
- Prayer can be beneficial for calming the mind, therefore helping you relax and drift off.
- Get rid of your alarm clock or at least consider moving it out of your bedroom.
Here are a few of my more blog posts on the subject:
****Exclusive offer for my readers: through May 1st The Bed Boss is offering my readers an exclusive 20% discount on any of their amazing mattresses using the coupon code SleepChallenge17. I hate saying it’s a limited time offer but IT IS! So if you do need a new mattress, now is the time and The Bed Boss is the place! You won’t find coupon codes for The Bed Boss anywhere else online right now!
Prizes include (more prizes could be announced throughout the month):
- Heavenly Hybrid Queen Size Mattress from The Bed Boss – for angelic sleep, this mattress is a combination of UltraCore and gel-infused memory foam which provides consistent support and cool comfort.
- Wave Premium Sleep Therapy Sound Machine with Soothing All-Natural Sounds to help you get some rest.
- 10 people will win the Sleep Cycle app (must provide email address to receive prize)
- More prizes will be announced throughout the month!
Here's how the Challenge will work:
- Decide on the “perfect bedtime” for you. If you need to be out of bed by 6 a.m. set your bedtime for no later than 10 p.m. Even better would be to try to be in the bed by 9:30 p.m. so you can have a 30-minute cushion for falling asleep! This way if it takes you 15-20 minutes to fall asleep you'll still clock in 8 solid hours of sleep.
- Print this Sleep Log to track and log how many hours and minutes you sleep each night. Or track with a tracking app such as Sleep Cycle or Sleep Bot. Note how many healthy habits you accomplish each day listed on the printable.
- Use the entry form below to enter as many times as you can! (See official rules here)