I hope your summer is going well so far. Have you been enjoying the warm weather? Did you have 4th of July fireworks in your neck of the woods? We alwyas have a big display and I look forward to it each year!
Included here is a photo of people with sparklers – remember sparklers? I sure do! As kids we were allowed to run around in the back yard with our sparklers at night before going to bed. Did you do that too?
Back in May, I posted about the direct relationship between keeping a gratitude journal before bed and getting a good night’s sleep. If you didn’t get a chance to read that one, here is a link.
Here’s some positive feedback I’ve received since then:
“I have been writing in my gratitude journal before bed and have not had any trouble falling asleep since your blog post! And, bonus, I find myself looking more closely at everything I do during the day and finding more and more reasons to be grateful – Thank you!”
“My gratitude journal comes with me everywhere I travel now! It’s the best medicine for getting to sleep at night, no matter where I am.”
Since so many people these days are not getting a restful night’s sleep, I am writing today about additional steps that you can take to reduce your insomnia.
You’ve most likely heard the phrase “circadian rhythm” before. It refers to our daily light/dark pattern during a 24-hour period; it’s technically our body clock. The circadian rhythm affects our brain, body temperature, hormone secretion, urine production, and blood pressure. If we keep the rhythm going along in its natural cycle, our brains release melatonin at night when it’s time to sleep and other hormone levels are kept in check as well, keeping us healthy.
Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep our circadian rhythm healthy, which improves daytime energy, alertness and performance.
Studies have also shown that natural daylight exposure reduced the time it took to fall asleep, as well as improving the quality of sleep, assuring a restful sleep.
So, here’s a simple tip. When you get up each morning, open your curtains and let the sunshine into your room right away. Spend a few minutes looking out your window, enjoying the sun. If you can sit in the sun and drink your coffee or tea, even better. I know that’s not always possible, as some places have a lot more rain than sunshine, but do the best you can and it will most certainly help you sleep better.
Also, remember to begin shutting off bright lights and stay away from computer screens late at night, so your brain will recognize the other end of the circadian rhythm, and release the hormone melatonin, which helps us to sleep!
Another simple tip is to get regular exercise during the day. Regular exercise during daylight hours (not before bed) has been shown to help those of us over 50 fall asleep better.
We know that we need exercise to keep our body strong and flexible, but exercise also affects our brain health, blood pressure, and our circadian rhythm!
One exercise routine that I recommend is a series of four exercises designed to work all the major muscle groups in the body. This series of exercises is repeated three times in a row, each time you do them, and the entire series is done three times a day. It only takes a few minutes, so you don’t have to plan an hour in the gym, or a long bike ride. I’m going to be doing these live on my facebook page every Monday and Wednesday at 8 am Eastern for a few weeks to get you started. Let’s do them together!
Today’s video is this series of exercises, along with my modifications for those who may need them. Try it with me today and let me know what you think! I believe that you’ll agree it’s another quick and easy tool to use to keep yourself in better health!
And, today’s good news story is that fewer people are dying from 11 of the top 19 cancers! Go science! Having lost family members to one of those cancers (melanoma), I am happy to see progress at last
Best of Health,