Snag Some Shut-Eye

As I said in the first baby step post, this month, I want to highlight 31 ways to baby step your way into a more mindful and healthful life.  Some of the tips will be advice already stated or implied in previous posts, while some will be brand new.  This post provides the sixth and an explanation.  The idea is to start at the beginning and accumulate as many mindful and healthful habits as you'd like to sustain by the conclusion of the month.  It's similar to that icebreaker where you're in a circle of people and you need to repeat all of the members' names in order... it's a challenge, but you'll feel great at making progress and it'll help you see how far you've come from the 1st to the 31st!

Baby Step # 6
Snag Some Shut-Eye

Sleep is essential to a healthy body, a healthy mind, and healthy relationships.  It rejuvenates our bodily systems and enhances our bodily functions.  It helps you function well in so many ways, you may not even notice how much sleep does for you until you suffer a terrible night's rest, or worse, restlessness for multiple nights.  This post explains the dangers involved with a lack of sleep, importance of making sleep a priority, and some ways to get a better night's rest, not just for growing children, but for everyone! 

Taking care of your body through a regular sleep schedule and minimum hours a night can improve many aspects of your life.  Check out the following resources for more information.
It, according to this Harvard Health article, aids in learning and memory, metabolism and weight, safety, mood, cardiovascular health, and immune function and disease prevention. 

In case you didn't already realize just how bad missing sleep is, check out these resources:

Something I was entirely unaware of is the potential for false memories resulting from lack of sleep.  You can read more about that in this Medical News Today articleThis infograph from I Heart Intelligence demonstrates the dangers of sleep deprivation.  And this NPR piece articulates the connection between stress and sleep and that skimping on sleep actually contributes to stress. 

If you didn't know what, more than simple dreaming, goes on while you're asleep, take a look at these:

This article explains that researchers have explored what the human mind is capable of doing in its sleep.  Additionally, scientists recently discovered a brain "node"; it controls functions necessary for sleep and an article about the study, by Daily Mail is here.  (The University at Buffalo--my hometown--was part of this study!  Pretty cool!)

Below are a few resources I found regarding how best to snag some valuable shut-eye yourself.

Habits seemingly unrelated affect your sleep patterns.  Even things like screen time can alter your slumber.  Check out this I Heart Veggies post for five awesome ideas on how to get a better night sleep tonight.

You might also consider some of these tips from Sleep Warrior regarding gaining a better night's sleep, like keeping your cell phone off or out of your bedroom as you sleep, to allow for delta brain waves.

And, if you're looking for something active to jumpstart your better night's sleep, check out this article with a slideshow of yoga poses for better sleep by Yoga Journal.  It shows how to do it, what props you may want to use, and about how long to remain in each pose.

Personally, we have moved to a few nighttime rituals to get a great night of rest.  One of the essentials is tea before bed.  Check out the post here.  The other is a lavender sleep spray.  It smells awesome and it's naturally relaxing.  You can see that post here.  Following much of the other suggestions listed above and maintaining a schedule has really improved our sleep schedules.

What habits do you have that contribute to an excellent night's sleep? 

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