When improving wellness, better sleep should a priority vs nutrition, fitness programs or prescription
Too often, the focus is on being more active, look into new diets or exotic holidays.
These would bring energy, improve strength or cure depression.
The cornerstone of a sustainable and healthy body is quality sleep.
Many brush off sleep. Society or human groups do not value or celebrate when you take a good night sleep. Nobody gets alarmed when you miss a night sleep. Even, all-nighters marathons are celebrated as a proof of motivation and dedication.
Yet, lack of sleep or sleep deprivation deregulates main body functions : impaired brain activity, cognitive dysfunction, weakened immune response, hormonal system dysfunction, poor muscle repair, risk of Type 2 diabetes, higher blood pressure, weight gain, heart disease and so on.
This means quality sleep must be a priority, above nutrition, leisure, physical activity and even work.
Here’s my sleeping plan, let me know if it is good for you:
- If I do not feel well, I try to see first if I had quality sleep recently, before thinking of stress, nutrition or anything else.
- I close negative emotions.
- If I have not been sleeping well recently, I make sure not to overstrain. That means in order : not taking any caffeine (coffee or tea) 5 hours before sleep, no strenuous exercise, no blue light 3 hours before sleep, lower home temperature 2 hours before sleep, massage 1 hour before sleep, camomille tisane 1 hour before sleep.
- Moderate exercise such as 30mn walking at a good pace at 5pm can improve sleep.
- Move or change sleeping conditions if not optimal. That can include moving out or thinking about the sound environment.
- Activity trackers and sleep apps can help measure good sleep and give insights. However, trackers do not improve sleep quality and impact is limited.
- D. J. Bartlett, N. S. Marshall, A. Williams, R. R. Grunstein. June 2007. Sleep health New South Wales: chronic sleep restriction and daytime sleepiness. Internal Medecine Journal
- June J. Pilcher PhD & Elizabeth S. Ott BS. March 2010. Relationships Between Sleep and Measures of Health and Weil-Being in College Students: A Repeated Measures Approach. Journal of Behavioral Medecine.
- Hideki Tanaka, Shuichiro Shirakawa. May 2004. Sleep health, lifestyle and mental health in the Japanese elderly. Journal of Psychomatic Research
- Making sleep a priority – Daily Health Points