Welcome! Today we are going to reflect upon that necessary but at times allusive state…sleep, what it actually does for our body, mind & spirit with some useful tips to help us get that deep restorative sleep that we need…
First, let’s get our cuppa’s ready…For this wintery Aussie day, with the winds blowing from the icy South pole, I thought Morning Sunshine tea, a blend which combines black teas from Assam, Darjeeling & Rwanda would keep us toasty warm.
To accompany this I have made us some gf buckwheat pikelets with sliced banana & maple syrup straight from the hotplate, with a dollop of decadent fresh cream, topped with flaked almonds… Delicious!
We are seated indoors in my comfy & warm living room that looks out onto the Bush reserve across our front garden as the morning sun filters through our full length windows.
Sleep is such an important & necessary time each day…
Don’t you think… last week during our time of reflection, as you may remember, we looked at Who are you? & the important lifestyle inclusions that longitudinal research has discovered that greatly help to lower our risk of dementia.
Quality & quantity of sleep is one of these inclusions & I shared that this is the main one, since having chronic health conditions, that is at times the most allusive for me. And that I have now put strategies into place that are actually working & have helped enormously.
So, I thought I would share these with you today, as many who visit here shared that they too find getting enough restorative sleep allusive.
However before I share these strategies, we will reflect upon what sleep actually does for us & why it is so important…
During our waking hours there are a great deal of neuro chemicals surging through our brains, while these help to maximize our cognitive capacity, over the course of the day, they build up waste products that become toxic in our brains…also known as amyloid-beta plaque.
It appears from recent research findings that only during our sleeping hours do brain cleaning teams really come alive & flush away this toxic chemical waste.
Therefore, the quality & a certain amount of sleep (approximately 6-8 hrs) is very necessary for this cleaning & restorative process. The rest of our body is also renewed, refreshed & restored during the process of sleeping, the body’s own maintenance teams all come to life in all the different systems of the body as we slumber!
In other words the body’s night shift teams do their work as we sleep! The following sleep strategies are those that I find work for me:
- Increasing my daily physical activity…That is apt for my personal circumstances.
- No caffeinated drinks or any food after dinner (6.30 -7pm) at night. Instead my last cuppa at night is Vanilla Rooibos shared in Focus…
- No computer/smart digital devices after 5pm of an evening.
- I journal any concerns I may have…then I put my faith into action & trust God for the outcome.
- Keep to a set pre bedtime routine, this tells my brain it’s time to wind down.
- Have the bedroom at a neutral temperature (not too hot or too cold).
- No digital devices or TV in the bedroom.
- Warm the bed in winter before climbing under the covers, then turn off the warmth. It’s not good for your heart health to get into a wintery cold bed, remember what is good for the heart is good for the brain!
- Always a prayer time & goodnight kiss with my hubby before the lights go out.
- We have white noise going during the night.
- We like a dark room, so we have block out curtains.
- If I can’t fall asleep after 30 minutes I get up & read for a little while (don’t toss & turn as that is counter productive) then go back to bed.
These strategies have been working for me for the past 6 months…I call that a great success!
A good night’s sleep also recharges the spirit
The world looks so much brighter & we feel much more positive when we are refreshed…& it’s a great investment for our future brain health in the prevention of Dementia.
Do you have troubles sleeping my dear friend? What strategies have you tried or are thinking of trying?
Until next time,
Jennifer is a published author, discover more in The Book Nook
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