Updated: Apr 16
Hey Love, peace be with you!
We know that good personal hygiene is essential for social and health reasons. Many of us have been taught to cultivate good hygiene since the times when we could barely walk to school on our own. We have grown up knowing that diseases and overall low quality of life arise from a lack of proper handwashing, not observing cleanliness within our immediate environment, not cleaning ourselves properly, not washing our clothes well, or engaging in unhealthy social activities. Especially now in the Covid-19 pandemic, excellent hygiene is paramount to protect our lives and those around us!
We also have sleep hygiene, which is just as important as personal hygiene. Poor sleep can weaken the immune system just as much as poor personal hygiene. It can lead to low productivity, poor social life, and even affect our mental health, just like poor personal hygiene. Unfortunately, many people disregard the importance of sleep, and even though they may have flawless personal hygiene habits, they generally have lower levels of mental and physical health.
Does this sound like you? Do you struggle with getting enough sleep at night? Are you always feeling sluggish and tired? You are not alone and this does not have to be your future. Keep reading as we suggest some helpful products, tips and suggestions for you to get some good sleep!
Zukossa Fitness Commercial Break:
The Zukossa Fitness Team recommends these products for an amazing, good night's sleep.
The importance of sleep hygiene
There is a reason why we spend about a third of our lives sleeping. Our bodies require sleep to function. Here are a few points highlighting the benefits of getting enough sleep:
Memory and alertness- Many people with memory problems are usually advised to sleep more because sleeping is crucial for shaping memories and making connections between the events, experiences, and feelings in life. Sleep is an essential requirement for anyone looking to form fresh memories and learning pathways in the brain.
Sleep is a brain state that optimizes memory consolidation, which is essential, given the fact that the waking brain is primarily for encoding memories. Similarly, getting enough sleep allows your mind to regain its focus and handle the tricky mental challenges while stimulating creativity.
Fights infection- Sleep is also vital in reducing the risk of infection, diseases, and improving specific health conditions. Sleep strengthens the immune system and works as the body's mechanism to ward off infection.
It keeps you active and in high spirits- I'm sure you know quite well how terrible our days start out and even end when we don't have enough sleep. Our energy levels are often low; we feel moody and lethargic. When we sleep enough, our bodies can reset, heal and prepare us for another twelve or so hours of work, interpersonal interactions, and movement. Our mental awareness and sharpness are more acute, and our spirits are high. This is one of the reasons athletes follow an excellent sleeping regimen to maintain top physical performance.
It keeps you in good shape- When you dream about transforming yourself into a fit, athletic being,
that is exactly what is taking place during sleep! Sleeping triggers all the processes that support weight loss and suppresses processes that lead to weight gain. For instance, it leads to more leptin (a hormone that increases feelings of satiety) and reduces ghrelin and cortisol (the hormones that make you feel hungry and stressed). There are many more reasons why sleep is essential, but I think you get the picture.
If you've not been practicing good sleep hygiene, don't worry, we've got you. There are steps you can take to develop good sleep hygiene. While these tips might help you recover, the most important thing you need to do is understand yourself and the possible root cause of your problem to establish a more targeted solution. You may find it necessary to involve a sleep therapist to help you out. Here are some suggestions that have worked for us. They include the following:
1. Create a sleep schedule and stick to it
You should sleep for at least seven hours. If you have children, make sure they also follow a consistent sleep schedule. Put them to bed hours before your sleep schedule for personal quiet time. Thank us later!
2. Integrate a physical activity or exercise into your routine
Physical activities and exercises increase our body temperature and make us feel tired and more likely to sleep. They also reduce stress and anxiety, which in turn improves sleep. Join the Zukossa Fitness team for a serious African and Caribbean inspired dance fitness workout. You'll sleep well afterward from the exhaustion! Please note, you should avoid exercising within a few hours of your bedtime to ensure your body is relaxed when you get into bed.
3. Create a restful environment
Ensure your room is dark and quiet. All your electronic devices should be switched off. Just before bedtime, you should also avoid exposing yourself to light-emitting screens. Yes, Love, turn them off! The screen lights from phones, ipads, laptops, and tablets limit the production of melatonin, a hormone that signals the brain that it's time to sleep. Think of it as the lights from your screen, "tricking" your brain to stay awake instead of going to sleep. So to go to sleep and to truly enjoy your sleep, you have to turn off your phone, Love!
4. Sleep less during the day
Sleeping during the day can affect your sleep-cycle and give you sleepless nights. If you have to nap during the day, avoid going longer than one hour, and avoid doing so late in the day. I personally like to take a siesta each day in the afternoon. It's a practice that I adopted while studying and traveling in Spain. It's stuck with me over the years and it's improved my general feeling of rest.
5. Consider taking natural products
People who have insomnia have been using melatonin supplements as sleep aids to help them sleep for years. It would help if you considered the natural option, which involves consuming foods rich in this hormone, such as cherries, bananas, and oatmeal. Another great natural product you can use is lavender oil. Its soothing fragrance is widely used to promote sleep.
Now, turn off the screen, take some nice cleansing breaths, close your eyes, and go to sleep, Love!
Peace and blessings,
Dr. J and Celeste
*Disclosure: Hey loves, peace and blessings! This post contains products that I would use and recommend for myself and my loved ones. All opinions expressed here are our own. This blog post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thanks for the support!