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You know, I think our parents were on to something when they came up with a “bed time”. Having a consistent wake and sleep time is key for promoting steady energy levels throughout the day. Our circadian rhythm plays a huge role in regulating our wake and sleep cycles, and that rhythm plays largely off of light exposure. Meaning the more light coming in, the more awake you feel, the less light coming in, the more drowsy you feel. Less light in the night time means a decrease in production of awake hormones, and and increase of Melatonin- the sleeping hormone.
Setting up your sleep schedule starts the moment you wake up. With the body producing the awake hormones when exposed to sunlight, it is important to first thing in the morning, get up and out of bed and into the sunlight. Yes the winter is coming to a close, which makes this the perfect time to get some Vit D in the morning. This will be a bright start to your day and really set you up well for later in the evening when you’re looking for a good night's sleep. The reason being you are now producing the right hormones at the right time. Your body wants sunlight during the day, and not during the night.
Sunlight isn’t the only key to getting out of bed, when you first wake up it’s important that you get up and get going. The more time you spend trying to fall back asleep, the more you are fighting your sleep cycles. For Example,ever take a 45-60 minute nap just to be woken up part way through? You wake up feeling worse then when you went to sleep. This is because you are interrupting your sleep cycle. So get up, get some sunlight, kiss a baby, go be awesome.
So what you can do to promote this good balance of hormones is maintain the same (or close to) sleep schedule every day. That means starting to unwind around the same time every day, reducing your exposure to light, both sun and artificial (blue light from TVs). The reason for this is that the more our eyes, and skin are exposed to light, the more awake we will feel. So to combat this, DON’T LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE SUN. Okay, just kidding. But seriously, limit your exposure to TV and cell phones before bed, and do it at the same time every day. This will get your body to start producing melatonin just in time for bed, as you will not be stimulated by all the light.
Having the same unwinding routine before bed is key. There are many contributing factors here, such as having your room being a space for sleep and nothing else. But what we’re focused on today, and for the next two weeks is for you to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. After those two weeks, I guarantee you your energy levels will have improved. This is a small tip that having a coach to help you implement and stay accountable to will be of great help.