I am pleased to introduce you to my latest guest blogger, Kari Erickson. Kari is producer and host of Life Butter Radio, a podcast devoted to holistic health, beauty and wellness. Think expert interviews, health news and insights, and simple, fun, and effective tips to looking and feeling your very best. Basically your health, beauty and wellness edit, in your ears! Kari will be appearing on the blog on a monthly basis to give us some insight into one of the top health agendas of 2017: improving our sleeping habits.
As an entrepreneur and junior doctor working 12 hours shifts, I sometimes find it hard to guard my sleep time as much as I would like, but I try to prioritize it whenever I can because I know how important sleep is to performing at my very best. I’m excited to have Kari on board to help us understand how we can sleep more and better.
Sleep: the Easy, Free and Enjoyable Way to Improve Pretty Much Every Aspect of Your Health
Hello and welcome to my first guest blog for Hazel Wallace! If you are a regular consumer of health and wellness news, then you already know that sleep is one of the top health discussion points of 2017: everyone is trying to understand why it matters, and create habits that promote better sleep.
So what has sparked the focus on this fairly unremarkable daily habit? Tempting as it may be to suggest that the health and wellness industry has simply grown bored of superfoods and training hacks, the root of all this attention is actually a slew of recent polls and studies revealing that across modern society, sleep deprivation and poor quality sleep are serious problems. This may not be surprising, but it is alarming; research shows that sleep is absolutely essential to:
- Youthful skin
- Mental health
- Optimal athletic performance
- Better exam results
- Safety on the road
- Recovery from illness
- Warding off heart disease and dementia
- Being a happy human*
*not scientifically proven, but a Life Butter theory
We were so struck by the importance of sleep that we have dedicated the first few episodes of Life Butter Radio to all things sleep, and I’m here to share what we’ve learned.
If you are one of the many that would benefit from more shut-eye, then be sure to look out for this column on Hazel’s blog. Each month, I’ll be taking you through one easy and fun thing you can try in your daily life to try to make great sleep happen. Life can get in the way of complicated routines, and a list of a million different things to try can be overwhelming. By focusing on one practice at a time, you’ll be able to see what really works for you – and the others in your life; be sure to share the love with your sleep-deprived nearest & dearest!
Tip 1: Better Together
And this is actually the first better-sleep tip that I would invite you to try at home: find a sleep buddy! Arianna Huffington and a pal jointly resolved one year to get a full night’s sleep for a month, and Arianna credits the buddy system with motivating her to stop work, turn off the tv and prioritize going to sleep. The beautiful pink pjs that this friend gifted her also helped! Everything is more fun when you do it with friends, from cooking to working out, so why not ask a friend to commit to getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night?
Make it fun – go out to brunch, or make something delicious at home and scope out what you think are your biggest obstacles to getting a good night of Zzzs in, and then help each other identify ways you can overcome these. Come up with a goal (I like this 1-month marker), and an accountability system – maybe an AM text on your way to class or work to let each other know how you’re doing? You could even take a leaf out of Arianna’s book and gift each other some comfy pjs if you hit your goal! Hopefully you can motivate each other to find the willpower to stop after just an episode or two of a boxset, quit checking social media late at night and generally get to bed before midnight. Of course all this is even easier if you make your sleep buddy your roommate or partner!
So find someone who loves the snooze button as much as you do, and be sure to check back in for more tips on how to make sleep happen for you. It can change your life!