Hello at last to the sunshine! Now we’ve entered at time with a loosening on the boundaries imposed on us by lockdown, the weather has decided to play ball and change along with us.
The days are long, the temperatures high and Brits everywhere are switching from complaining about it being too cold and wet to being too hot and humid!
This does pose a dilemma for our sleep patterns as our bodies need to quickly adapt to a vast change in night-time temperature, an early rising sun, and the prospect of a later dinner-time BBQ. There are so many factors that can affect our sleep when the seasons change so let’s dive into a few ways to protect that much needed sleep and get the most out of your ZZZs this summer!
While it is true that most of us do not actually need as much sleep during the summer as we do during the winter, getting good quality sleep is paramount to our bodies regenerating, rebuilding, and healing while we rest.
As with most things, each of us have different sleep needs and very few people can thrive on three
to four hours sleep. The vast majority of us need between seven and eight hours of sleep to thrive. Notice I didn’t say ‘survive’.
Surviving and thriving are two quite different ways of looking at the world. We want every person who walks into our clinic to leave believing they are going to reach a ‘thriving’ level; mere ‘survival’
is good if you have started at ‘struggle’, but to reach ‘thriving’ we need to address the things that prevent us from living our lives fully.
So here are 5 simple and easy ways that you can ensure a better quality and quantity of sleep this summer.
A REGULAR WAKE UP TIME
Having a regular wake up time will teach your mind and body that it gets up at a similar time each day and gets ready to start that day. Over time you will wake up easier, more alert and with more energy. This wake-up time should be within a one-hour window regardless of if it is a weekday or weekend.
Having huge differences in your wake-up times means the body never gets into a rhythm and you might find some days much more difficult to get of bed or get ‘onto the day’. Even if you go to bed very late one night, that is fine! Just adjust your wake-up time one hour later and be sure to get up and get going, your body will thank you for it!
7 1/2 TO 8 1/2 HOURS IN BED
Working backwards from your optimum ‘wake up time’, you need to give yourself between 7 1⁄2 and 8 1⁄2 hours in bed. You might not sleep for that entire time, but you need to be head down, in darkness for that time to give your body enough time to rest and recover. So, for example, if your wake-up time is 06:30, you need lights off by 22:00 to give yourself the best opportunity to get enough sleep.
With the sun rising earlier and earlier, total darkness is the best way to signal our brains that sleep is still needed. Having blackout blinds installed is a great option and the prices really have come down for these in the last 5-10 years. They are an investment that is well worth it. An easier option is wearing a sleep mask that sits over your eyes to block out any light. The receptor cells in the back of your eyes pick up light even THROUGH your closed eye lids
so making sure there are no small blinking lights on TV’s, chargers, night lights etc is good too.
NO CAFFEINE AFTER 14:00
the stimulatory effect of caffeine lasts a lot longer than you think! Although you may be able to sleep after having that night-time cuppa, the caffeine prevents your brain from getting a deeper quality of sleep for up to 8-12 hours. Try opting for decaf coffee (still has tiny amounts of caffeine though
– Google it!!), herbal tea or hot water with fresh lemon. This goes for alcohol and soft drinks as well. Although by different mechanisms, they will prevent you from getting good quality sleep too.
The chiropractic adjustment affects the bodies nervous system in a way that allows the body to heal better. The healing process mainly happens when you are resting and sleeping so good quality and quantity sleep is so especially important.
Once that brain-body connection is enhanced,
the amazing power of the body to heal can do its thing and heal you the way you should be healing and get you to that thriving state. So many of my practice members report having the ‘deepest sleep of their lives’ after their first adjustments and that their quality of sleep is improved whilst under care for months to years.
So, there you have it, 5 easy and simple tips to enhance your sleep this summer and get you that one step closer to the thriving state!