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Effingham Magazine


By: Sharon Hathaway

 A shortage of sleep is the number one casualty of the modern lifestyle. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) seven hours of sleep is needed for optimum health). 2016 statistics indicate  35% of Americans are getting less than seven hours of sleep a night.

Less Than 7 House of Sleep is associated with: Drastically increased risk of weight gain and obesity in both children and adults; impaired brain and memory function and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. It also cause prediabetes in healthy adults in as little as six days. It has a strong link to Type 2 diabetes, depression, a lowered immune function and inflammatory diseases. It may even cause a reduced ability to recognize people’s emotional expressions.

So what can you do?

These 9 things can make it easier to go to sleep:

  1. Practice regular sleep rhythms—go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
2 .Get regular exposure to daylight for at least 20 minutes daily. Sunlight triggers your brain to release specific chemicals and hormones like melatonin vital to healthy sleep, mood and aging.
  1. Eat no later than two hours before bed—eating a heavy meal prior to bed will impede the body’s overnight detoxification process.
  2. Avoid alcohol—it may aid sleep but makes your sleep interrupted and of poor quality.
  3. Create an aesthetic environment in your bedroom that encourages sleep (ie, serene, restful colors and no clutter). Create total darkness and quiet—consider using eyeshades and earplugs.
  4. Create a power down hour. One hour before bed turn off all electronic devices. This includes your phone. Use Do Not Disturb and move it out of your room or at least out of reach so you aren’t tempted to look at it. Listen to relaxing music, white noise or ocean sounds to relax you. Write down any worries and make plans for what you can do the next day to reduce your worry. It will free up your mind and energy to move into deep and restful sleep.
7.Warm your tummy with a hot water bottle, which raises your core temperature and helps trigger the proper chemistry for sleep.
  1. Use an essential oil such as Lavender.  You can rub a few drops on your stomach, back of your neck or bottoms of your feet. (see what works best for you). Or, use it in a diffuser. Add 3-5 drops depending on the size. Diffuse it during your power down hour and let it run while you sleep.
  2. Don’t get overwhelmed. It is not an all or nothing scenario, take baby steps, be consistent. Change one thing and add new ones in every seven days until that habit is a part of your routine.
Sharon Hathaway is a Certified Health and Life Coach specializing  in weight loss, stress reduction and lifestyle changes. Sharon uses a habit healing method of curated information, empowerment and support to inspire her clients to successfully make lasting changes  in their lives.

For more information or to schedule an Individual Discover Session or group event visit