Holiday stress getting the best of you? 3 easy things you can do to calm your mind for a better night sleep

There’s a lot to think about right now.  Holiday parties, family get-togethers, and more can leave many of us feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and fatigued.  This can be compounded when we’re not getting a good night’s rest which is critical to starting the next day rejuvenated.

Not only that, a lack of sleep can leave you fatigued and with a weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. It can also decrease your mental acuity, disrupt natural hormone levels, and lead to a variety of other, significant health problems. Here are three ways to help you get some much-needed rest!

  1.     Shut off those electronic devices! Flashing screens and the light on cell phones and iPads stimulate our brains and make it difficult to relax. Ideally, you should step away from tech two hours before bedtime. At the very least, turn on “Night Shift” if your phone has that capability. When you do finally put your phone down, place it on “Do Not Disturb” mode. Another idea is setting an alarm at least thirty minutes before you want to go to bed so that you can begin unwinding and preparing for a good night’s rest.
  2.     Set the mood. Make bedtime something you look forward to each night.  Set nightly rituals. Warm baths, listening to relaxing music, and reading before bed are just a few examples. Getting into a nightly routine will signal to your brain when it’s time to start relaxing and preparing for sleep. Make your bedroom an oasis; you should have dark shades covering all windows, no noise, and the temperature should be set between 68° and 72°F.
  3.     Get moving. As I’ve mentioned before, exercise is a critical component of a healthy lifestyle.  Exercising on a regular basis is not only good for your body and overall health, but also for your sleep! A solid thirty minutes of daily exercise can make a huge difference in quality of sleep.

Try integrating these tips over the next several days and see how it impacts your sleep.  If you find that you are still having trouble falling asleep, or that you are waking up regularly during the night, and snoring, you may be experiencing a sleep disorder. Waking up not feeling refreshed is not natural and might be an indicator of a more serious problem. Consider taking my free assessment, or learn more by visiting, (insert desired site).

Week of Dec. 31 (adjusted to 1/7): Creating Healthy Goals and Resolutions this Year that Can Change Your Life

A fresh year is upon us and many will take pen to paper and list out new resolutions for 2019. Perhaps you had success with resolutions you set last year and are conjuring up a batch of new goals.  Or maybe you weren’t as successful, and you find yourself revisiting some from last year or the year before…

Regardless of where you stand on achieving your goals, give yourself credit for outlining a plan. And consider this: many goals that you want to accomplish will be much easier to achieve if you are healthy and feeling great physically.  Consider some of the following ideas to integrate into your 2019 resolutions and see how incorporating any of these could dramatically impact your success rate come 2020.

  1.     Get sufficient sleep each night and if you are struggling with any aspect of a good night’s rest, get it checked out. Along the same lines, be aware of your overall health and be willing to talk with medical professionals if you have any concerns.  Don’t live uncomfortably; find the source and fix it!
  2.     Evaluate your baseline approach to food and consider making a few adjustments to help yourself feel better and operate more effectively.  Are there inflammatory foods that are consistently hurting you? What habits are you ready to overcome? Also, consider drinking more water and less of everything else.
  3.     Consider integrating activities that help you manage your stress and allow you to relax more like reading, yoga, meditation, etc. Like I suggest for sleep preparation, think about your electronic usage and perhaps decrease it; doing so will likely improve your overall sense of wellbeing and help you focus on your 2019 goals!
  4.     Get outside and enjoy nature with activities that require movement and being present in your environment. As I have mentioned repeatedly, exercise is a key ingredient to overall health.

New Year’s resolutions are exciting to think about and plan for.  Help yourself achieve those goals by integrating a higher level of health and wellbeing into your daily life.  Learn more about some of the suggestions I provided by visiting, (insert desired site).