This article is the sixth in a series of nine which focus on areas that I explore with my health and wellness coaching clients.  Our health and well-being are so much more than just what we eat and how active we are, even though that is certainly part of it.   What changes would you like to see in your life?  Whether its nutrition, being physically active, reducing stress, being more in-tune with your mind body connection, or being more aware of your environment and its impact on health and wellness, there is always an opportunity to explore potential areas for change.

 

This month’s focus is on sleep and rest. Spring is right around the corner and so is setting those clocks forward an hour this month for Daylight Savings Time, which can impact our sleep. It’s an ideal time to look at sleep and rest as we “spring forward” with our clocks.    Is sleep and rest an area where you may want to make improvements?   Sleep is such an important part of our health and well-being and one that sometimes gets put on the back burner with busy lives.  I will share some of what I have learned from the Vanderbilt Health Coach training program that summarizes this topic well.  Below is information shared as part of the health coach training program that will help shed light on the importance of sleep and rest as well as tips and resources for making improvements in this area.

 

Sleep and Rest

 

How do you feel when you don’t get enough sleep? Or when you are logging plenty of sleep hours, but the sleep isn’t refreshing? Or maybe you just never feel rested, and the pace of the day leaves no time for relaxation.  The quality & quantity of sleep and the amount of rest we engage in can directly impact our health and how we feel. Sleep disturbances are common and can be caused by many factors ranging from recent increases in stress to underlying physical or mental conditions.

 

While getting enough sleep is important, there are other things to consider when looking at this dimension of health and wellness.  Taking a look at the amount of rest and relaxation each day is an equally important part of the equation.   A good definition of rest is a “waking calm,” where the person is alert and aware but also deeply relaxed.  In today’s environment, this does not happen without being intentional.

 

Here are some benefits of sleep and rest.   Take a moment and consider whether making changes in this area might be beneficial and help you live a more full, well-rested, and energetic life.

 

 

Sleep Tips: Movement

 

Sleep Tips: Food & Fluids

 

Sleep Tips: Create Ritual

 

Sleep Tips: Environment


Sleep Tips: Other


Tips for Rest:

General Sleep Resources:

National Sleep Foundation: A wonderful resource for information about sleep, sleep disorders, and promoting healthy sleep: http://sleepfoundation.org

 

Sleep and Rest CDs, Apps and Practices:

Guided hypnosis for insomnia:   https://yapko.com/sleeping-soundly/

Pzzizz sleep app. Guided hypnosis to help you relax and sleep well: http://pzizz.com/about-us

Sleep specialist Rubin Naimen, PhD has many invaluable sleep related CD’s and Books. Recommended are “The Yoga of Sleep” and “Healing Night”: http://www.drnaiman.com/goods/books-cds/

Free app that dims your computer screen after sunset: https://justgetflux.com/

5-minute guided breathing meditation to promote rest: http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22


Sleep Products:

 

Blue Light Reduction Products: https://www.lowbluelights.com/index.asp

Here’s to better rest, better sleep, and a better you!

_______

 

Sources and Citations:

A Time to Bloom Health and Wellness Coaching, LLC https://atimetobloomcoaching.com/

Vanderbilt Health Coaching Program, Resources for Health, and Wellness Coaches. https://www.vumc.org/health-coaching/health-coaching-program

[i] NIH. The benefits of slumber. Retrieved from: http://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/apr2013/feature1

[ii] WebMD. 9 surprising reasons to get more sleep. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/9-reasons-to-sleep-more?page=2

[iii] WebMD. 9 surprising reasons to get more sleep. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/9-reasons-to-sleep-more?page=2

[iv] Speigel K et al. (2004). Brief communication: Sleep curtailment in healthy young men is associated with decreased leptin levels, elevated ghrelin levels, and increased hunger and appetite. Annals of Internal Medicine. 141(11):846-50.