Too often, the focus is on being more active, look into new diets or exotic holidays.
These would bring energy, improve strength or cure depression.
The cornerstone of a sustainable and healthy body is quality sleep.
Many brush off sleep. Society or human groups do not value or celebrate when you take a good night sleep. Nobody gets alarmed when you miss a night sleep. Even, all-nighters marathons are celebrated as a proof of motivation and dedication.
Yet, lack of sleep or sleep deprivation deregulates main body functions : impaired brain activity, cognitive dysfunction, weakened immune response, hormonal system dysfunction, poor muscle repair, risk of Type 2 diabetes, higher blood pressure, weight gain, heart disease and so on.
This means quality sleep must be a priority, above nutrition, leisure, physical activity and even work.
Here’s my sleeping plan, let me know if it is good for you:
- If I do not feel well, I try to see first if I had quality sleep recently, before thinking of stress, nutrition or anything else.
- I close negative emotions.
- If I have not been sleeping well recently, I make sure not to overstrain. That means in order : not taking any caffeine (coffee or tea) 5 hours before sleep, no strenuous exercise, no blue light 3 hours before sleep, lower home temperature 2 hours before sleep, massage 1 hour before sleep, camomille tisane 1 hour before sleep.
- Moderate exercise such as 30mn walking at a good pace at 5pm can improve sleep.
- Move or change sleeping conditions if not optimal. That can include moving out or thinking about the sound environment.
- Activity trackers and sleep apps can help measure good sleep and give insights. However, trackers do not improve sleep quality and impact is limited.
- D. J. Bartlett, N. S. Marshall, A. Williams, R. R. Grunstein. June 2007. Sleep health New South Wales: chronic sleep restriction and daytime sleepiness. Internal Medecine Journal
- June J. Pilcher PhD & Elizabeth S. Ott BS. March 2010. Relationships Between Sleep and Measures of Health and Weil-Being in College Students: A Repeated Measures Approach. Journal of Behavioral Medecine.
- Hideki Tanaka, Shuichiro Shirakawa. May 2004. Sleep health, lifestyle and mental health in the Japanese elderly. Journal of Psychomatic Research