Last night, I was able to get 9 hours of sleep. My body told me that I was tired and I listened. My roles as a mommy, blogger, full-time worker and grad school student leads a pretty busy life. Since launching my blog, I'm lucky if I get 5 hours of sleep these days. Yesterday at work, I wanted to cry because I was so sleepy and couldn't do anything about it! I couldn't focus, I couldn't think clearly and all I could think about was my bed with me being in it. Can you relate? I know that we as women feel that we have to be Superwoman in order to get things done but it's important that we recharge our batteries. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress. Let's take care of our bodies so that we can be our best Flawless and Fabulous selves!
Here's 5 Ways to Maximize Your Sleep:
1. Turn Off Your Electronics
I know that in a world of social media and rachet gossip news, it can get pretty addictive to catch up on what you may have missed for the day but it's more important to get more sleep. Try to start turning off your electronic devices 15 minutes before bed time and gradually moving to 30 minutes before sleeping.
2. Lower Your Caffeine Intake
It's best to consume caffeine before 2 pm. Why, you ask? Because one study found that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time by 1 hour. Caffeine is a stimulant that fights Adenosine, a substance in your body that promotes sleepiness. Just Say NO to caffeine in the evening!
3. Showering Before Bed
Let Calgon take you away! Studies show that showering earlier in the evening gives your body a chance to cool off and can even trigger sleep. Shelby Harris, Director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center, recommends that you should time your shower so you're done about an hour and a half before you want to go to sleep. By doing so, by the time you lay down in bed, your body will be cool, dry and ready for sleep.
4. Exercise Early
Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep better but there's a catch! It works as long as it's done at the right time. Exercise stimulates the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which helps activate the alerting mechanism in the brain. This can be an advantage, unless you're trying to fall asleep. Try to finish exercising at least three hours before bed or work out earlier in the day.
5. Nap Early or Don't Nap At All
Naps are life! I'm a strong advocate for taking a quick nap every now and then. However, it could hold you back from getting a good night's rest. This is because late-day naps decrease sleep drive. If you must nap, it’s better to keep it short and before 5 p.m.
I know that sometimes life gets in the way and you can't always maximize your sleep but when you can, take advantage of it. It's important to establish a sleep routine so that your body is conditioned to sleep and rest well. I hope these tips help you. What type of things do you do to maximize your sleep? Share below!