Podcast: What about Sleep?

What about Sleep?

Sleep and Love. They actually correlate, funny enough.

Did you know that there are scientific studies all about how people who are falling in love are actually sleep deprived? It must have something to do with all the endorphins in the air, but it is a true thing.

Today though, we are going to chat a bit about why sleep is so important to you, your self love and your love life. It's a huge topic!

Sleep is something that often can allude us. Did you know that 50 to 70 million people have sleep issues. And that's only in the United States!

It makes sense really. In today's culture where everything is accessible 24 hours and many people are waking earlier and earlier or staying up later and later to get things done, our sleep is impacted.

Think about it, when was the last time you had a fabulous night's sleep? When was the last time, you woke up feeling refreshed, lighter and brighter? It could have been yesterday or it could have been last year. Either way, good sleep is important!

Today I am sharing with you five ways you can get better sleep. Even better, I'm also sharing five reasons why sleep is important to your love life!

Five Reasons Why Sleep is Important to Your Love Life:

1. When you get great sleep you are less cranky, which means you are more pleasant to be around. It's very cause and effect, right? When you sleep well, your emotions are more stable and you are able to manage the 5 million random stimuli that hit you on any given day. You become less undone and people gravitate towards you because your energy is calm.

Also, poor sleep is connected to all kinds of emotional balance issues and even to depression.

2. Sleep increases dopamine which does all kinds of wonderful things to your body. (Although, you can also produce too much dopamine which can have not fabulous results too. But, you usually don't produce too much dopamine during sleep.) And dopamine not only increases your sex drive, but it also assists in all kinds of body functioning.

3. Sleep makes you healthier, and healthier makes all things in the love department easier. If your body is functioning at it's best, then you are more likely functioning on a higher playing field. Which makes all the things in a relationship with someone else go smoother.

Sleep also boosts your immune system so that you get sick less often. And, lack of sleep is connected to risk of heart disease, risk of diabetes and memory issues. Lack of sleep also can contribute to inflammation in your body, which increases your risk of other diseases.

4. Sleep makes your body feel better. Sleep is when your body is restoring itself. This is when your body can ward off illnesses. It is also when your skin and muscles regenerate. Seriously, sleep can help you have better skin! How great is that?

5. Good sleep helps you perform better at work. Good sleep increases you ability to stay on task and get work done. And on a side note, good sleep increases your ability to become physically stronger. While neither your work or your gym performance are about love... your work life does impact your love life.

Five Ways to Get Better Sleep:

1. Say goodnight to all the blue lit devices 60 minutes before you turn out the light for sleep. Blue lit, back lit devices are killing our sleep functioning. The light impacts our melatonin levels and circadian rhythms which then impacts the quality of sleep you get. So, you might fall asleep just fine right after scrolling Pinterest before sleep, but your sleep quality while you are in different states of sleep will be effected. If fact, the Sleep Foundation calls it a bout of mini-jet lag every morning.

Also, there is something to be said about creating boundaries with the outside world before bedtime. Think about it, when you scroll on social media or the news from bed, you are inviting all of those people on Facebook, Instagram and Snap Chat into your bedroom. And you are inviting in all of those articles about drastic things happening into the world. That's a lot to fill your bed and cause horrible sleep!

Also, think about increasing your natural melatonin during the day. This is found by being outside and allowing your eyes and skin to soak in sunlight. A way to do this is to get a fresh walk on your lunch break without sunglasses.

2. What you eat and drink matter! Have you ever had a heavy meal right before bed and then had awful sleep? For me it's all about the garlic. I can toss and turn all night with garlic in my system.

A good rule of thumb is to stop eating 3 hours before bed. I know that's a long time, but then you ensure you've digested your meal before sleep.

We all know this, but caffeine really screws up sleep. So, if you are experiencing poor sleep, cut back on those lattes and see if you start to sleep better.

And, alcohol totally wreaks our sleep. Even one glass of wine can send you over the edge to poor sleep. The depressants in alcohol make us sleepy, but like those blue lit devices, it totally impacts the quality of our sleep during the different stages.

3. Stress can kill sleep quality. Who here wakes up in the night and starts going through their to do list? It can't be only me! Seriously though, stress keeps us awake and also effects our dreams. One of my favorite things to do is a brain dump right before getting ready for bed. So before going to get into your pjs and grabbing a book, open the notes section of your phone (or get fancy and download Evernote) or even have a special journal you write your thoughts in. Then you can literally dump all the things you are trying to keep organized in your head onto something and let it go.

4. Make your bedroom an oasis. So, sleep experts say that the only things that should happen in your bedroom are sleep and sex. I like to have deep meaningful conversations in mine. Sometimes it's hard to limit our bedrooms to just two activities, but if you able to, re-decorate a bit. If you have a TV in your bedroom, try leaving it off at night for a month. Or if your office is in your room (been there!) make sure to set boundaries on your work hours. And, the stuff in your room... it holds energy. Put things away and get rid of things you don't like. You can even burn a bit of sage to clear the energy every once in a while.

5. Keep a schedule. This one is the hardest for me. But if you wake and go to bed at roughly the same time consistently, your body gets into a pattern. And funny enough, bodies love patterns! So, even on the weekend (I know, I know, I can't do it always either) try to wake up and go to bed at around the same time. That way on Sunday night you aren't staring at the ceiling because you slept in that morning and on Monday morning you don't feel crappy because you didn't sleep well.

OK, well, there you have it! 5 Reasons Sleep is Important and 5 Ways to Get Better Sleep!

Until next time, be well and do fabulous things.