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Tip #1: Don't skimp on sleep

February 1 2016

Ms. Bond's first tip for 2016: Don't skimp on sleep

 

I love sleeping. I do. Bedtime is often held sacred for me - I just don't understand those people who are night owls or who get distracted dong things and don't get to bed until after midnight. Or LATER!

 

That being said...whenever you get your sleep - whether you are in bed by 9am or 2am, it's important to get enough. Embrace your natural sleep cycle as much as you are able. Also pay attention to how much sleep YOU need.

 

That doesn't mean: "I can function on 4-5 hours". It means: how much do you need on a daily basis to FEEL RESTED and FUNCTION OPTIMALLY.

 

The Sleep Foundation says that: "If sleep is cut short, the body doesn’t have time to complete all of the phases needed for muscle repair, memory consolidation and release of hormones regulating growth and appetite. Then we wake up less prepared to concentrate, make decisions, or engage fully in school and social activities.

 

Sleep helps us thrive by contributing to a healthy immune system, and can also balance our appetites by helping to regulate levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which play a role in our feelings of hunger and fullness. So when we’re sleep deprived, we may feel the need to eat more, which can lead to weight gain.

 

The one-third of our lives that we spend sleeping, far from being “unproductive,” plays a direct role in how full, energetic and successful the other two-thirds of our lives can be."

 

In short, many important things are going on while you are sleeping and those processes become less efficient if you regularly cut them off.

 

If you have trouble getting to bed, creating a ritual can help: a cup of soothing tea, a hot bath, a great book on your nightstand that calls to you, journaling, meditating, etc. Just like with children, creating a bedtime ritual for yourself can be very important to transition from active to restful time. And no electronics in bed!

 

Personally, I need 7-8 hours of (preferably, but often not attainable thanks to the midnight bathroom run) uninterrupted sleep on a daily basis to feel energized, focused and (ahem!) cheerful during the day. For me, that means being asleep by 10pm whether or not my husband is trying to cajole me into just one more episode of The Walking Dead. I usually rise between 6-7am depending on the day, so often I am able to get my time in. Even if I get distracted and don't fall asleep until 10:30 or later, I still get in the bulk of my time most days.

 

So, tip #1 - ACHIEVED. How do you stack up?

 

 

 

 

 

© 2016 Katherine Ferranti LMT

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