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Salud: Improve Sleep

Welcome to Week 2 of Salud: Sleep.

How sleepy you are depends largely on how well you’ve been sleeping and how much sleep you’ve been getting. Another key factor is your internal “biological clock”—a small bundle of cells in your brain that controls when you feel sleepy and your sleep patterns (based on responses to internal and external environmental cues, such as light signals received through your eyes). Because of the timing of the biological clock and other bodily processes, you naturally feel the most tired between midnight and 7 a.m. and again in the afternoon between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

 

Night shift workers often find themselves drowsy at work. They also have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during the day, when their schedules require them to sleep. Being sleepy puts them at risk for injuries on the road and at work. Night shift workers are also more likely to have conditions such as heart disease, digestive troubles, and infertility, as well as emotional problems. All of these problems may be related, at least in part, to their chronic lack of sleep. Adapting to new sleep and wake times can also be hard for travelers crossing time zones, resulting in what’s known as jet lag. Jet lag can lead to daytime sleepiness, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, poor concentration, and irritability.

 

The good news is that by using appropriately timed cues, most people can reset their biological clock, but only by 1–2 hours per day at best. Therefore, it can take several days to adjust to a new time zone (or different work schedule). If you’ll be moving across time zones, you might want to begin adapting to the new time zone a few days before leaving. Or, if you are traveling for just a few days, you might want to stick with your original sleep schedule and not try to adjust to the new time zone.

You Might Not Know

  • 100 million Americans live with treatable, chronic pain.

  • Nagging pain and joint aches are the leading cause of missed work nationally.

  • Chronic pain accounts for over 45% of all disability claims.

 

Weekly Objective

  • Explaining the importance of posture and your hips.

  • Learn how improving hip function can dramatically improve posture and alleviate pain in other areas of the body.      

  • Perform exercises that will balance and improve the structure and function of your hips, gluteus, and spinal muscles.

Ways to Improve

Like eating well and being physically active, getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your well-being. Here are 5 additional tips to help you improve sleep:​

  • Take a hot bath before bed. The drop in body temperature after the bath may help you feel sleepy, and the bath can help you relax.

  • Have a good sleeping environment. Get rid of anything in your bedroom that might distract you from sleep, such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, or a TV or computer in the bedroom. Also, keeping the temperature in your bedroom on the cool side can help you sleep better.

  • Have the right sunlight exposure. Daylight is key to regulating daily sleep patterns. Try to get outside in natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes each day.

  • Don’t lie in bed awake. If you find yourself still awake after staying in bed for more than 20 minutes, get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy. The anxiety of not being able to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.

  • Avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep, if possible. Some commonly prescribed heart, blood pressure, or asthma medications, as well as some over-the-counter and herbal remedies for coughs, colds, or allergies, can disrupt sleep patterns. Don’t take naps after 3 p.m. Naps can boost your brain power, but late afternoon naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. Also, keep naps to under an hour.

  • See a doctor if you continue to have trouble sleeping. If you consistently find yourself feeling tired or not well rested during the day despite spending enough time in bed at night, you may have a sleep disorder. Your family doctor or a sleep specialist should be able to help you.

Your Weekly Behavior

Sleep Habit – Firstly it's important to understand what your sleep profile is. There are three different profiles, Owls (people who go to bed late and want to wake up late), Larks (those who go to bed earlier and get up earlier) and Intermediaries (those who have a relatively normal sleep cycle). Find your sleep profile at https://www.surrey.ac.uk/features/sleep-quiz-are-you-owl-or-lark

 

  • Try to practice deep breathing techniques before bed to help you relax, click here to find out how! (www.sleepcouncil.org.uk/seven-steps-to-a-better-nights-sleep/) 

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  • Keep a notebook on your bedside table. Writing down any worries or even your to-do list helps to clear the mind. 

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  • Create a wind down routine an hour before bed. Routines that are associated with sleep signal the brain that it's time to wind down - think a warm bath, having a milky drink, reading a book or listening to soothing music. 

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  • It's important to eliminate the factors in your bedroom that could be causing you disturbed sleep - look at the temperature of the room, the lighting, your bed to make sure you have the perfect sleep environment. (www.sleepcouncil.org.uk/perfect-sleep-environment/) 

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  • Avoid screen time (that includes smartphones, tablets and TVs) an hour before bed as it has an effect on the time it takes for you to fall asleep. 

*If you’ve had a previous injury or have any other medical concerns, consult a qualified healthcare professional before participating in the Salud Sats: Move! program. 

Bonus Practice – Permission to say NO

This week, give yourself permission to say NO. No to invitations that will drain you, no to working late, and no to giving in to consumer culture. Aim to say no at least once this week when you would usually say yes out of habit or to please others. This act requires us to pause before we respond and choose an answer that resonates with our own needs. Another simple, but radical practice. 

 

Here are a few meditation apps that we love.

  1. UCLA Mindful – free 

  2. Insight Timer – 30,000 free meditations, with option to upgrade

 

Exploring a variety of meditations from diverse teachers creates a more well-rounded practice, which is one reason why meditation apps are so beneficial. 

Continue to Salud: Sleep Routine
Week 6

We are here to support you on your bitcoin journey, so please reach out to saludsats@protonmail.com with questions, comments or feedback on the program and your experience. Download the program PDF or save the site URL to access program anywhere you go!

Download Salud: Sleep here.  You can find the complete 9-Week Salud: Health Action Plan here. 

URL: saludsats.com/sleep

“Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh