No Sheep Sleep Method
By: Dr. Libby Darnell
Remember when you were a kid and hated naps? Now I look back and think, “Naps, I’m so sorry for neglecting you! You’re wonderful, and brilliant, warm and cuddly, and I love you!”
For a lot of us, sleep is something we are always chasing. Everything else seems to take priority over a good night’s rest.
Now that I’m a mother, my evenings have actually become my most uninterrupted work hours (should I admit I’m working on a Saturday night? Oh, how life changes)! Once my son goes to bed it seems to be a race against the clock to get as much work done on my business as possible.
I know many of you can relate, but here is a shocking statistic; studies show that women who sleep less than six hours per night will gain an average of 11 pounds during a year¹, without changing any other habits!
I experienced this firsthand when I was sleep deprived when my son was born. It wasn’t until my son slept well that my weight started melting off.
The same is true for men! Sleep deprivation also makes us crave unhealthy foods, and disrupts our hormones that have to do with hunger and metabolism.
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Not only that, but it is just hard to be the best version of ourselves when we are sleep deprived. Our bodies heal when we sleep!
Especially when we are in the middle of detoxing, or recovering from a recent illness, we have to give our bodies enough time to reboot and recharge.
Follow these tips below that have been birthed out of my many sleepless nights, and find what works best for you.
Healthy Sleep Habits:
Get Rest Tip #1. Get into a sleeping rhythm. Decide when you need to wake up the next morning in order to complete your morning routine and get to work, then count back 8.5 hours and make that your wind down time. Example, if you need to be up at 5:00am tomorrow, start to wind down at 8:30pm tonight.
Get Rest Tip #2. Try to keep your bedtime and wake time consistent each day, within one hour of variation. If you wake up for work at 5:00 a.m., try to wake-up by 6:00 a.m. on days when you do not work. You can do this gradually, a few minutes earlier each day.
Do you have to do this forever? No, but while you are working toward living a healthier lifestyle it is so important to give your body the opportunity to heal and recharge, which only happens while you are SLEEPING.
I love using my early mornings to go on long walks and enjoy the peace and the sunrise, while the rest of the world sleeps. I use that as prayer time with God, as well as time with my son.
When you start your day with a sunrise, it is very hard to be pulled into a negative mindset.
Fill this out to get you started:
In order to get up on time for work and complete my morning routine, my bedtime is ___________________. My wake time is _________________.
Get Rest Tip #3. Create a bedtime routine. Take a relaxing bath with epsom salts and lavender essential oil. Get in bed with the lights off and listen to the Perfect Health meditation program on the app Holosync, or use your meditation strategy of choice.
When I meditate at night I very rarely make it to the end of my program before I’m asleep. Concentrate on your breath. Breathe in for a count of 5 in through your nose, and out for a count of 3 through your mouth. Visualize every muscle in your body and focus on relaxing each muscle, one by one.
From the suggestions above, I will try the following in order to set a bedtime routine: _______________________
Get Rest Tip #4. When you can’t sleep, go through your gratitude list in your head. When negative thoughts occur, start counting your blessings.
A few examples: I am grateful for being born into a family that loves me and supports me. I am grateful for having the opportunity to give the same love to my children. I am grateful that I am healthy enough to work. I am grateful that I am learning ways to stay healthy, which allow me to fulfill my life’s purpose.
No matter how hectic or chaotic my day may be I am ALWAYS grateful for the following:
Get Rest Tip #5. On stressful days I will often times take a Systemic Formulas supplement called CALM right before bed. It has “happy” and “calming” support for neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
My husband also swears by taking CALM before flying, as it totally cuts down on the level of anxiety he experiences about air travel 😉
Sleep Tip 6. Eliminate screen time before bed. Screen time includes time spent watching television, on your computer, phone, or iPad.
Not only does the blue light emitted from these devices interfere with your natural melatonin production, but they also can be stimulating. Instead, spend an hour before your bedtime reading, meditating, praying, or journaling.
Ultimately, I know that most of you have felt the effects of sleep deprivation. Not only is it an inconvenience, but it also serves as a detriment to our health.
Be sure to try at least one of these sleep strategies tonight to give yourself and your loved ones the best chance for health happiness.
Let me know which of the healthy sleep habits listed works best for you in the comments below!
- Beccuti, Guglielmo, and Silvana Pannain. “Sleep and obesity.” Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care. U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2011. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.