As we head back in to the routine of fall we are given the opportunity to rethink and renew the way we sleep. Summer is full of adventures and excitement that derail us from our good habits; so, with the return to school schedules and busy weekdays we want to take a moment to discuss the habits that keep us well rested, healthy and energized to tackle each day.
Get your full eight: You never outgrow the adage of 8 hours of sleep for a healthy lifestyle. In fact, according the National Sleep Foundation, adults over the age of 18 should receive 7-9 hours with school-aged children looking to gain closer to 10. Work as a family to make sure you’re planning your activities around a schedule that suits everyone’s needs and allows everyone in the home to greet each morning fully rebooted. Lack of sleep, which is scientifically considered to be 6 hours or less, is a known contributor to lack of concentration, poor memory and a weakened immune system. Set your home up for success and get the full 8-10 hours through consistency and proper scheduling.
Keep your Sanctuary Sacred: Technology can affect the way you sleep in various ways. The stimulus your brain is receiving can keep neurons firing when they should be getting ready to sleep. Late night T.V. or after hours work e-mails also lead your body to feel very awake when it should be winding down. Also, artificial lighting produced by all these devices delays your body’s natural inclination to release melatonin, the hormone your body produces to induce sleep. By introducing smart devices, television and other technology into the bedroom you're reprogramming your brain into thinking your space for sleep is also a space for wakefulness. Make sure your body and brain are in-tune with your intentions by leaving your electronics plugged in somewhere other than your bedroom and setting your devices to night mode or turning them off all together! Furthermore, take a moment to yourself, by allocating 15-30 minutes to wind down after turning off all electronics, and retreat to a dim room for meditation or peaceful reading.
Stay Cool: It may seem like you need multiple sets of bedding from a wide variety of materials to adapt to every season, but in reality, it's about what is most comfortable for you! For example, a high quality Italian linen can keep your comfortable year-round, no matter the season. Linen is king when it comes to temperature regulation; not only do flax fibers have a heat conductivity rating five times higher than wool, but they also help you maintain cooler body temperatures by approximately four degrees when compared to cotton or silk. We love how linen to keeps our bodies 2-3 degrees cooler than the recommended 68 degrees ambient temperature (Sleep Scientist Matthew Walker of the Center for Human Sleep Science) to induce a peaceful sleep.
This time of year lends itself to creating an opportunity to adjust our sleep schedules and greet fall with good habits. Create healthy habits and continue them into the new year. With one-third of your life spent sleeping, there’s no better time than now to make sure you’re getting the rest you deserve.