Magical Monday

Good morning, ya’ll!!! I’ve missed you!

So, you may be wondering why today of all days is classified as magical. Well, let me tell you.

  1. I’m posting for the first time in many moons, and it feels GREAT.
  2. It’s snowing outside here in the great state of Ohio, and it’s not just any snow. I was walking outside, and it literally looked like sparkly crystals were blanketing the ground (I LOVE sparkly things).
  3. Finally, (although I’m sure each of you have magical stories about today as well–feel free to share!) I am going to tell you about this MAGICAL concept many refer to as SLEEP. It is truly a lovely invention. I am officially not a college student for the next couple weeks, and I have gotten to explore it a little bit 🙂

I’m no doctor, so all of the following information, I found on health.com. Here is the link:

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20407230,00.html

A crappy sleep doesn’t just feel crappy in the morning. Not enough sleep in the long-run increases your chances of diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain. SLEEP IS IMPORTANT, and here are some obvious and not so obvious tips to wake up feeling refreshed!

Numero uno: Probably the most obvious tip for ensuring a good night’s sleep is to watch the caffeine. Avoid drinking coffee after lunchtime. Some drinks (and foods now :o) have caffeine in them that you may not be aware of and should be avoided after around 2 pm: teas, flavored waters, soda pops–Check the label to be sure, especially if it claims to be an energy-booster on the label. Another drink-type that disturbs sleep is alcohol. It may help you get to sleep, but it’s not going to help you stay asleep, so drink in moderation and opt for that glass of wine around 6 instead of 11.

In contrast, some foods boost your sleep quality. It’s best not to go to bed on a full stomach, but if you’ve had a few nights of restless sleep, make a light whole-wheat-pasta dish with fresh vegetables, a little diced chicken breast, tomato sauce, and a sprinkle of Parmesan for dinner. This meal contains a snooze-friendly combination of protein and tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to sleep-promoting serotonin in the body. If your stomach’s growling late at night, try a small bowl of cottage cheese with banana slices, another dish that serves up tryptophan. Other combos of healthy carbs and protein, such as milk and graham crackers or yogurt sprinkled with cereal, will also do the trick.

A fun fact that I didn’t know is that your body needs to cool to a certain temperature in order to reach a sound slumber. I am a fan of warm temperatures, generally, but I like it a little cool at night. I thought I just wanted the opportunity to snuggle into a pile of blankets and pretend I’m being cuddled by an attractive male, but maybe subconsciously I just know everything. It’s possible.

Anyhoo, the takeaway is that anything that raises your body temperature before bed–hot shower or bath, for example–does you no favors when trying to fall asleep.

That is a lot of words I just typed up there, so I’m going to wrap this up real quick, but you are looking for more sleeping tips, I suggest checking out the National Sleep Foundation website. It has a bunch of good articles, and it uses .org, so it must be legit!

https://sleepfoundation.org/

LAST MINUTE TIPS:

  1. Yoga before bed? Two thumbs up! Sitting down and just breathing for ten minutes or whenever you feel relaxed is a good wind-down. Close your eyes and inhale through your nose while slowly counting to four, then exhale while counting back down to one.
  2. Dimmed lighting before bed helps tell the biological clock that it’s time to ready the body for sleep.
  3. Disconnect from electronics an hour before bed. Consider investing in an alarm clock so you can keep your phone in another room while you sleep and avoid any late-night urges.

Hope that helps a little bit! If any of you have really good sleeping tips, feel free to share your secrets in the comments! I’d love to hear them!

REMEMBER: Sleep is goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood.

Have a great day or not; the choice is yours!

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