Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Embrace the darkness!

Embrace the darkness!

-First off your room should be dark and you should be using a dimmer light before bed to prep your body for sleep. Also think about a lower temperature in your room.The lower light and temperature combine to create a relaxing environment and help set off the release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. If you are exposed to artificial light, this suppresses melatonin and increases alertness making it hard for your mind and body to fall asleep. Make sure to try to disconnect from the TV, phone and computer before you start to wind down for the night.

Relax with some Yoga
-Try an evening flow or meditation. An evening flow which combines yoga and breathing seems to help calm your body, mind and muscles after a long day. It can be as brief as 10 minutes or as long as an hour. You can find peace and calm while enjoying a series of movements designed to help you sleep.
An example would be:
5-move yoga routine for sleep
Simple Forward Bend
Child's Pose
Supported Wall Inversion
Supine Stretch
Corpse Pose

Set the mood for your body with relaxation techniques and deep breathing to calm yourself.
-Breathing oxygenates your blood. This simple involuntary act can also be the center of your focus to help calm your body and calm your mind for a restful night's sleep. By making it voluntary, you can enhance your calm and lower a stressed mind. Combine this with the above flow sequence and see how much your stress levels will decrease.
Try this out !
Deep Breathing Technique
Lie on your back.
Slowly relax your body.
Begin to inhale slowly through your nose if possible.
Fill the lower part of your chest first
Do this slowly, over 8-10 seconds.
Hold your breath for a second or two.
Quietly and easily relax and let the air out.
Repeat cycle

Create a sleep schedule and make it routine.
-Maintain a regular sleep schedule for when you wake up and whe you go to bed, YES even on the weekends!!! Our circadian rhythm thrives on consistency. Most of you can already relate to the power of consistency in our lives in the weight room, in healthy eating and in work so why wouldn't this follow the same pattern? Make your nightly routine special, take a hot bath, read a good book, or even just sit and do muscle relaxation techniques.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Begin this exercise by lying down.
Starting with your feet, tense the muscles and hold tightly.
Inhale as you tense and hold your breath for a few seconds.
Exhale and release the muscle tension in your feet.
Continue with each muscle group until you reach your head.
Another good tip is to journal and organize your thoughts. There is nothing worse than laying in bed thinking about EVERYTHING that needs to get done!

Try to get in your 8 hours a night !!
-This cannot be stressed enough. Give your body enough time to rest and repair.We make time to exercise and eat healthy, as well as manage our stress, but if we do not get a solid eight hours each night, we undermine all these efforts. One of the biggest issues in getting enough sleep is reinforcing bad sleep behaviors. This will only perpetuate the problem. Try to avoid getting out of bed for that drink of water and try to not look at the clock. Creating habits like this reinforces poor sleep. Correct it by not giving into these small setbacks and think about how great you will feel in the morning!
Try to make sure that you are getting enough sleep to support your efforts! Your life, work, and body will thank you !!!

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