Written by Carla Alpert
Sleep like a baby! It's FREE and it's the one of the best things you can do to restore your body.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is get a good night's sleep. It's FREE and it plays a significant role in repair and recovery of the body. Proper sleep helps you fight stress, maintain a healthy weight, and keeps your energy levels high. Ideal sleep is best between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. with the peak repair happening between 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
At 10 p.m., your body goes through a shift following the rise in melatonin (the sleep hormone). This phase of sleep is associated with a rise in the internal activity that is responsible for the repair and restoration of your body. Immune cells are released during this time to attack many harmful pathogens, like bacteria and viruses.
In order for this 10 p.m. phase to happen, it's important to rethink your pre-bed rituals. Since melatonin is promoted by darkness and works with our natural circadian rhythm, it's important to wind down activities that promote bright light up to an hour before hitting the sack. This means dimming lights and turning off computers and cell phones at least an hour prior to bed. Instead, you might end your day with a good book, some relaxing music or a bath.
Without proper rest, our bodies can suffer both on a physical and emotional level. This is why it's important to experiment with pre-bed rituals to get to bed earlier and get adequate sleep.