What do you think could age you faster? Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, or not enough sleep?
If you picked sleep, you would be right.
Sleep is such an important building block for our health yet in today's modern world it is often considered an inconvenience. How often do hear people get praised for "burning the midnight oil" or consider it a badge of honour to pull an "all-nighter"?
In Tom Rath's book, Eat Move Sleep, he likens the number of hours of sleep deprivation to the number of beers you might drink. Many people wouldn't want their child's teacher to have a few beers before coming to class, but missing a few hours sleep is not even considered, it might even be expected.
If you truly want excellent health, making sleep a priority is essential.
Here are some quick tips to take advantage of sleep as a potent anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and cost effective (actually it's totally free!) tool for longevity:
- Best bedtime is 10 pm. Try to get as close to this as possible, even if it's in small 10 -15 min increments
- Best time to wake up is 6 - 8am.
- Set an alarm to go to bed.
- Expose your eyes to bright light as soon as you can
- Have protein for breakfast.
- Make mid-morning your last call for caffeine.
- Shut off all screens 30 -60 minutes before bed.
- Take melatonin if you are a shift-worker.
- Exercise regularly.
- Make early evening your last call for alcohol. The closer to bed you drink, the more likely your will have disturbed sleep.
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
- Have a bedtime routine.
- Dim the lights as evening falls.
- Try guided meditation to help you fall asleep.
- Check your blood sugar if you are having trouble staying asleep.
Originally Published: June 18, 2018
Dr. Michelle Durkin, BSC(H), ND, Contributor and Bowen Practitioner at Quinte Naturopathic Centre
+ Read Bio
Dr. Michelle Durkin attended the University of Guelph and obtained a Bachelor of Science with honours in Biomedical Science. With this medical background, she went on to study at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto and graduated as a licensed doctor of naturopathic medicine in 2003. Dr. Durkin founded her clinic, the Quinte Naturopathic Centre. As a Naturopathic Doctor she is very committed to providing excellent individualized health care in a warm and professional environment. Michelle is also a professional Bowenwork® practitioner. In addition, Dr. Durkin holds professional memberships with the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND), the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND), and the Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors (APND).