Getting sufficient sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body, particularly when you are living a Paleo lifestyle. Most people need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep every night in order to function properly. This is especially true if you are very active and exercise a great deal because your body needs time to recover.
Sleep deprivation can have many negative effects on the body, whether or not you are living a Paleo lifestyle. From immune dysfunction and diabetes to heart disease and obesity, lack of sleep directly affects your health and well being. Simply put, not getting sufficient quality sleep can take years off of your life.
Sleep is simply not merely an option; it’s a necessary component to a healthy life. If you want to improve your health, get better sleep. Here’s how:
Be comfortable. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable when you sleep. In the summer, put cotton sheets on your bed to help keep you cool. In the winter, put flannel or fleece sheets on the bed to stay warm and cozy.
Keep your bedroom cool and dark. Invest in some good curtains that help block out the light. This is especially important for those who work at night and sleep during the day. It’s best to keep the temperature of the room cool because it’s easier to sleep with an extra blanket than it is to constantly wake up sweating. Also consider a memory foam cooling pillow for comfort.
Skip late afternoon coffee and naps. Avoid drinking coffee after 2pm; otherwise the caffeine will disturb your sleep. And refrain from taking that long nap after 1 or 2pm at the latest, unless it’s a short power nap of 10-20 minutes. Also, don’t eat big meals late at night.
Try natural sleep aides. There are herbals teas that can help you fall asleep. Sip some chamomile, mint, or lavender tea before bed. Or try a variety for bedtime that has calming eleuthero or valerian. There are also other natural sleep aides on the market that contain extracts of poppy and valerian root, and they won’t leave you feeling groggy in the morning.
Control light exposure. Controlling the light exposure in your bedroom can serve as a tool for regulating sleep. Avoid using smartphones, tablets, and computers a few hours before bed. Use blackout shades to make your bedroom as dark as possible, and dim or cover anything that gives off light, such as an alarm clock.