• Bri Edwards

Sleep Your Way to Health

Updated: Apr 13

There’s shopping to do, cookies to be made and holiday parties to attend. Oh and there is that holiday program you have to get your kids to, laundry to fold, and on top of all the other stuff, the dishes still need to get done. If you’re like most adults during the holiday season, your sleep can really take a hit. Sleep is one of those essentials we re-categorize to “essential, if time” around this busy time of the year.

Unfortunately, with all the running around and the added stress it can cause, sleep is one of the most important essentials to stay essential.

Sleep allows our brain and body to slow down and recover to perform at an optimal level the next day. Just one night of poor sleep can interrupt hormone balance - ever feel like you’re craving sugary food extra the next day after a poor night's sleep? That’s your hormones, leptin and ghrelin, struggling to regulate and driving cravings for foods that are going to give you a quick hit of energy (insert those chocolate covered pretzels in the breakroom here).

Disrupted sleep also disrupts your brain's ability to function at its best the following day. It impairs the brain's ability to form memories and our ability to make good judgement calls. Our focus and attention drift and our mood is negatively affected. With all that can go wrong on poor sleep, how do you ensure that you’re getting enough sleep over the holiday season?

1. Prioritize your sleep. Stop looking at sleep as a luxury and start looking at it as an essential part of a healthy life. Longevity and aging well rely on good sleep.

2. Practice good sleep hygiene. Sleep in a cool, dark space and have a consistent sleeping schedule. You can also try a sound machine to limit sleep disruptions.

3. Focus on regulating your circadian rhythm. Prioritize good sleep by exposing yourself to natural light first thing in the morning - bonus if you get this while outside on a walk! Avoiding caffeine, especially later in the day, can also benefit circadian rhythm regulation.

4. Keep naps short and earlier in the afternoon. Long naps can push back your bedtime and throw off your sleep schedule.

Prioritizing your sleep can be one of the most important ways to improve your health - virtually every function of the body is impacted by your sleep. If you need help implementing these healthy sleep habits, let's have a chat! To schedule your appointment with me, call 563-207-8932 or visit us online.

Until next time,

Coach Bri

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Our providers enjoy sharing articles on a wide variety of health and wellness topics.  The information in these articles is intended for general information only, and should not be used to diagnose, treat or cure any condition.  Seek the advice of your medical provider or other qualified healthcare professional for personalized care regarding your unique needs and goals.