To Our Health: You Are Getting Sleeeeeeeeepy

Image by Ben Blennerhasset

This week was my LAST health class! After spending a week each on stress management, nutrition, and physical activity, we spent this week talking about sleep.

Here are my notes:

Before class we watched this TED Talk by Russel Foster about the importance of sleep, wherein we learned that sleep provides restoration, healing, and physical regeneration.

Sleep is also when our growth hormones pump up in our bodies! For kids this helps them achieve their full height potential and in adults it helps us put on lean muscle mass.

The ideal is to wake up just before your alarm goes off. If that's not happening, then try going to bed 15 minutes earlier. Then try that again and again until you wake up at the right time.

Power naps. I am NOT a napper, but if you are, then the best time for you to nap would be halfway through your awake time in the day for 30 mins or less.

Apparently magnesium helps with anxiety and stress, and also helps with the release of our sleep hormones. It's pretty common for women to not have enough magnesium in their diets. Here is a site with a chart of how much you need and some good food sources.

Questions to get at the heart of things:

How do I feel when I'm tired? What are some symptoms that I experience regularly that may indicate I'm not getting enough sleep?

How much sleep am I actually getting on a regular basis? (Not the time I get into and out of bed, but actual sleep!)

What is my current bedtime routine? What do I want it to be so that it is more relaxing?

What am I currently doing during my day that will help me sleep well? Is there something else I would like to do?

What time do I need to be out of bed in order to have time for all my morning activities and start my day without feeling rushed?

Takeaways and homework:

I already was on board with sleep being important, and this really drove home for me to not be embarrassed or hold back on doing whatever I need to do to make sleep go well for me.

I want to change the ringtone for my alarm. It is not a pleasant one to wake up to (and so far I don't wake up before my alarm).

The top thing for me, right now, is to try to establish a more consistent bedtime, as I am pretty all over the place with mine.

At the beginning of class we did a little reflection on how we were doing from the changes we'd made already. I realized, as we were discussing our nutrition changes, that for most of us, treats are always food-based. Whenever we feel like we want to treat ourselves, we turn to food or drink. It might be a good idea to find some things that feel like treats for us that aren't food.

At the end of class, we did a little reflection on our main takeaways from the entire course. Here are mine: 

Do the things that you enjoy/gravitate towards first, because wellness doesn't always have to make you miserable.

Plan ahead for a small change you can make every single day, and actually plan when and how you're going to do it.

Anything is better than nothing.

Be honest with yourself about what you are actually doing and where change is needed.

It is likely that everyone has one key areas of health that is key for them, and unlocks their ability/desire to do the other ones. I thought mine was physical activity, because I have always been a pretty active person and so it's easy for me to do, but now I think it's actually stress management! That is the only thing that makes me feel like I have the energy and space for all that other junk! (I mean good stuff. Not junk at all. Super important healthy stuff.)

Now I am done, right? I am a Certified Healthy Person now and don't have to try anymore?

Also, look at these cute pictures of sleeping animals I found while looking for a photo for this post:

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