The 5 Factors of Health: SLEEP
GOAL: Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night
Arguably the most important influencer on our health is the amount of sleep we get. Less than 7 hours a night increases risk of cancer, early death, dementia and cognitive decline, and other chronic diseases.
Busy is not an excuse. It might make it harder to prioritize time in our day for sleep, but it doesn’t make it impossible.
How many hours, on average, of sleep do you get every night?
Below are all things within your control that can be used to help you reach the optimal health sleep goal. Circle all of the ones you are currently doing:
- Go to bed at a consistent time
- Sleep in a dark and quiet room
- Make sure your bed & bedding is as comfortable as possible
- If you are a clock watcher, hide the clock
- Silence your cell phone notifications until morning
- Establish a soothing pre-sleep routine
- Avoid watching TV or looking at other screens (laptop, phone, etc) while in bed.
- Listen to relaxing music or guided meditation to help fall asleep
- Avoid caffeine after lunchtime and alcohol at night (which may help you fall asleep but destroys the quality of your sleep)
Now, let’s figure out your optimal bed time:
- What time do you have to get out of bed in the morning to make your day work?
- Including 15 minutes to wind down/read/get settled, what time do you need to be in bed to be able to get up at that time and still get 7 hours of sleep? Keep in mind, 7 hours in bed does not equal 7 hours of sleep. We are routinely awake nearly 2 hours during the night.
Which of the habits above are you willing to try to work on to improve your sleep?