Creating a schedule for rest is important not only at bedtime but throughout the day. The way we start and end our day are critical to our bodies and minds. Today we will look at some ideas to move you into a successful routine.
A routine can be defined as a sequence of actions regularly followed. Your entire day does not have to be planned out step by step, but it does need to shift into a healthy morning and evening to maximize rest.
Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep at night. Set an alarm to start the routine. Turn off the electronics and curl up with a good book bedside. Stay away from caffeine and heavy snacking after 8 p.m. When it is time to turn in for the night, try some stretching, meditating, yoga, or journaling.
Evening Prep for the Morning
Whatever your situation, start your morning routine the night before. Have the family pick up clutter on countertops and floors. Unload or load the dishwasher so the sink is empty. Maybe even shower at night so you have time in the morning to get ready.
If it helps, create a checklist for the family so every night you go to bed not wondering when you are going to fit it all in when you wake up.
Check book bags, make lunches, set out outfits, and create a space where everything is centrally located. Keep the electronics tucked away and focus on the routine to get out the door on time daily. It is the first step to morning balance to make a list or check off some items that take more time in the morning.
New Morning Routines
A few morning tips for a healthy morning start include:
- Meditation, prayer or worship can kick-start your mind into a calm start.
- Making your bed may provide you the physical and visual peace for your bedroom.
- List what you are thankful for in a gratitude journal.
- Look over your list you made at bedtime so you know what needs to be accomplished for the day.
Spiritual and Physical Wellness
Many may discount the act of spiritual wellness to a healthy balance but University of California Davis defines this as a way to “find meaning in life events and define our individual purpose.
Spiritual wellness can be defined through various factors including religious faith, values, ethics and morals.” This does not tie you into a specific religion but helps define how you make decisions and live with those decisions to create balance.
Exercise including yoga, meditation, or running can help unwind your anxiety and release the toxins clogging your mind and body. By pursuing the right mix of physical activity, a short 30 minutes creates the balance needed for a restful night and a clear conscience.
“Eating healthy and allowing the body to absorb proper nutrients provides the brain with the chemical environment that it needs to produce the neurotransmitters that it needs to maintain adequate sleep,” said Ana Krieger, MD, MPH, Medical Director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at New York-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine.
Nearly half of Americans spend their days tired, frustrated and moody because of poor sleep. The problem equates to many restless nights and believing stress or anxiety are the main factors. Sometimes, the issue can be solved simply by adjusting your diet.
The Sleep Foundation reports 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea that can seriously affect their quality of sleep. It also can lead to many health risks such as heart attack or stroke. Sleep apnea is also associated with snoring, which is common in overweight people who may be unmotivated to exercise.
“Weight gain leads to compromised respiratory function when an individual’s trunk and neck area increase from weight gain. These problems can make change difficult and leads to a slippery slope of health problems.”
Talk to your doctor to determine a good healthy diet for you to begin. Dieting does not mean you need to lose weight, but it does mean you need to balance your intake of necessary nutrients for a healthy night’s rest.
If you are struggling with getting enough sleep, or would like some expert advice about the connection with anxiety from an overwhelming schedule and sleep, connect with a professional sleep specialist at Alaska Sleep Clinic .