A new month, a new Wellness Challenge, friends! This month, we’re looking at sleep—as in 7-9 hours of it. But first, let’s look at how February’s challenge went. As always, let us know how it’s going here in the comments or on Twitter and LinkedIn.
February: Healthy Food Habits
Last month, we challenged you to embrace healthy eating habits. The CEEK team took this challenge head on, learning new ways to eat, while keeping it fun and colorful. What we learned:
- Get your greens by adding them to your smoothie. Hide them by adding strawberries, peanut butter powder, or even sugar-free flavored syrup. Add an avocado for a thicker smoothie and good fats.
- Carry almonds with you for an easy, filling, heart-heathy snack.
- Mix up your proteins with shrimp. Shrimp pack a powerful protein punch in a low-calorie package!
Now that we’ve embraced new healthy food habits, we’re ready for March’s challenge.
March’s Challenge: We challenge you to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night.
Sleep is one of our basic needs and it’s essential to our health and wellbeing. During sleep, your heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure decrease for your body and brain to rejuvenate. Major restorative functions, such as muscle growth and tissue repair, happen during sleep.
Most healthy adults need 7-9 hours of sleep regularly to function at their best. Even minimal sleep loss takes a toll on your mood, ability to handle stress and make decisions, and mental sharpness. Sleep loss also affects your body’s ability to fight infections, leaving you more vulnerable to colds and other viruses. Chronic insufficient sleep can lead to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. This is attributed to the decreased time available for restorative functions that happen while you’re sleeping.
So, what can you do to help you improve your sleep? Try to create a regular sleep schedule where you go to sleep and wake up about the same time each day, even on the weekends. Physical exercise during the day is helpful. Be mindful of when you consume caffeine, alcohol and sugary foods, as they can all disrupt a good night’s sleep. It is also helpful to keep a notebook on your bedside table in the cases where your mind is racing. Writing down your thoughts and ideas can help quiet your mind.
Create a calm, restful sleep environment, assess what factors are affecting your sleep, and make necessary changes to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. In doing so, you will enhance your capacity to learn, solve problems, make decisions, and create. Establish better sleep habits and…CEEK a Better Way®!