The NYT says, “Sleep is the new status symbol.”
“Sleep today is a measure of success, a skill to be cultivated and nourished.” -says Tim Robinson in a new article in The New York Times.
This is New York City, no more late nights? No more drinking until 5am? No more late night greasy burgers after a show?
No, sleep is where it’s at, it’s the new status symbol and I LOVE IT! Life can unfold easier and motivation, creativity and focus is better when you’ve had a good night’s sleep!
I’ve always been serious about my sleep– in Chinese medicine it is believed that sleep is the one of the main ways to regenerate the Qi (Chi) of the body and 8 hours is the correct amount. Think of it like your daily checking account, let’s say you start out with a 100 units, you spend 30 exercising, 50 at work, 20 at play, you’ll need to regenerate and put more units in for tomorrow– that’s where sleep comes in. ESPECIALLY like some of us who spend 30 exercising, 80 at work, 80 at play, you know who you are! Without sleep over a number of days you face potential damage to your adrenals, to brain chemistry, joint health, hormone regulation, aging inside and out, etc. Keep in mind, we aren’t just referring to those insomniacs who don’t sleep at all, damage also occurs for people that sleep only 4-6 hours a night, there is a deficit overtime which is a huge contributor to all the ailments above.
A few things that can assist your sleep:
A great mattress and the right pillows! I’ve been coined the pillow queen and I don’t mind it one bit.
- Positioning– back and side sleepers require different pillows heights, so be sure you have the right pillow! I’ve told my patients over the years, if you are a side sleeper, be sure your nose and the top of your shoulder is in a 90 degree angle. Stomach sleeping is pretty much a no-no, since it wreaks havoc on the neck…
- No screens, I know so many people that fall asleep with the TV on, first of all, you shouldn’t have a TV in your bedroom at all, but if you do the blue light spectrum can cause sleep disturbances or an inability to go deep.
- Cell phones on airplane mode! When you keep your cell phone on and since most of us use it as an alarm clock, we tend to have it close… consider that that phone is looking for a tower to connect to all night long (insert Lionel Ritchie hit, “All Night Long”). So please airplane mode it, we still don’t know the long term harm that cell phones can do. If you absolutely must have it on for emergencies, keep it 10 feet away from you.
- Having some real issues? Maybe a little melatonin can help? Melatonin is something your body already makes, so you are not adding a foreign substance to your flesh and bones. You can try 3mg or go up to as high as 10mg with time release.
- A simple upgrade to your ritual! Dark and quiet– get some black out shades or a cute little snooze kit, complete with blind fold and ear plugs.
- Take a hot bath before bed to relax your muscles and mind.
- Magnesium– especially if you have some restless legs! Magnesium is a necessary mineral for 300 systems in the body. Take some before bed, it can help you relax deeper during sleep, helps tight muscles and also constipation, just don’t take too much or your stools may be a little loose in the morning.
- My new favorite treat, Golden Slumbers Healing Milk. Click here for recipe.
- If all else fails, acupuncture and a custom herbal formula (custom, made by an herbalist, not off the shelf) is guaranteed for improving the quality of your sleep. Let us know if we can help!
Here’s the article from the New York Times including a few sleep programs and new Apps, even one called “Dreaming with Jeff”, yes, it’s Jeff Bridges!
In health and wellness,