what's the craziest thing you've tried to sleep better?
Aug 29, 2023 3:16 pm
Read time: ~3 mins
Hi friends! Welcome to the eighth and final email in the series on simple health tips. Today we're talking about sleep! Next week we'll be diving into some pelvic floor & foot talk 🤩
How do you sleep? Do you feel rested when you wake up? How many hours are you getting cumulatively, even with interruptions? Are you getting into your deepest sleep? Are you mouth-breathing when you sleep? Do you snore? Do you have sleep apnea?
These are all important questions to consider when assessing how you sleep, and how your kiddos sleep as well.
Side note: Kids' sleep can be a touchy subject, especially if all parties involved are leaning toward the deprivation side of things. 😜 I'm not a sleep expert, but I've learned a few things about biological infant sleep from Taylor Kulik and she's my top recommended resource if you have questions about baby and kid sleep and doing things more holistically.
If you've worked with me in any capacity before, you might've heard me say, "if you have the choice between a nap and forcing yourself to workout while tired, take the nap every single time." Wait, a personal trainer is not urging you to push through and just work out, regardless of excuses? Hi, it's me. I'm not a regular personal trainer. I care about the quality of your rest just as much as you deadlifting your body weight. 💪
Why do I say this? Sleep is the way our bodies restore, build muscle, recenter our nervous system, digest food, and fight any infections/bugs we might be encountering throughout the day. That's why when we don't sleep, we get irritable, sick, forget things more quickly, and our reflexes aren't as good.
So that's why as your exercise trainer, I'm telling you to take a nap instead. 😱😂 Obviously we do have to workout and get stronger, but let's do it from a place of nourishment for our whole body.
The way you sleep, and how you breathe while sleeping might be some of the biggest pieces to the holistic health puzzle. Say what?!
Nasal breathing is so important, it's worth digging into the why behind snoring, mouth breathing, and periods of apnea. Not to mention the dry mouth and subsequent cavities that result from mouth breathing!
If it's really that important, let's do our best to optimize our sleeping hours. Here are the top most simple sleep tips that I've heard and learned over the years:
- Stop stressing about it: the more you worry about not sleeping well, and especially your kids not sleeping well, the worse it is for everyone, and chances are your stress will keep you awake. Let it be and rest assured humans will eventually sleep. Even the tiny ones. Promise.
- Avoid blue light at least 1 hour prior to sleep: if you can! Use blue blockers and nighttime screen settings if you're going to be surfing the web or watching a show before going to bed.
- Make sure you're eating enough throughout the day, and eat a bedtime snack: if you are waking up in the middle of the night, it could be due to your body needing more nutrients, OR it could be blood sugar issues. Kill two birds with one stone: eat more protein throughout the day and have a protein snack an hour before bed. Don't take my word for it - listen to a dietitian explain more about this on the Are You Menstrual Podcast with Amanda Montalvo.
- Sleep with your mouth closed: for optimal airway function, better oral health, improved facial muscular development, clear ears, and better attention span and quality sleep - work with a professional to determine why you're sleeping with your mouth open, and what you can do about it! I would NOT recommend just using mouth tape and going to bed if you're typically sleeping all night with your mouth open - that's just the bandaid; see if you can get to the root of the issue and correct it with exercises slowly over time.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this series on simple health tips. Be sure to check back in next week as we'll be talking about the pelvic floor and feet and how they are connected.
As always, know your options and be empowered in your choices!