Habits for healthy sleep always include something along the lines of "relax before bed" or "unwind". This is easier said than done for those of us who have ended up over-scheduling our day with a hope of "fitting it all in" and accomplishing our perhaps ever-growing list of things we want (or need) to accomplish.
My family jokes that my son's superpower is sleeping anywhere, at any time, without a worry in the world. While I know he can relax and fall into a deep sleep effortlessly, many of us aren’t so lucky. I’ve certainly had my own nights where falling into a quick and simple deep sleep seems nearly impossible, especially when I feel like the stress of the day just won’t let go.
Stress impacts sleep- no question. In fact, according to the CDC, 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep, and stress is often a major contributor to that statistic. So how can we better manage our stress so that we can begin to unwind, relax, and enjoy the benefits of a good night’s sleep?
Blue Zones are geographic locations around the world where people regularly live to age 100 without serious mental or physical impairment. One of the secrets to their success can be attributed to ending their days in inspiring ways that promote longevity.
These Down Shifts (a term used by researchers and The Blue Zones author, Dan Beauttner) are incorporated into daily routines to manage stress and vary geographically across Blue Zones.
The people of Ikaria, Greece, indulge in a mid-day nap, while the Sardinians go to happy hour. The Ryukyuan people of Okinawa, Japan, take a moment to honor their ancestors.
Although Down Shifts aren’t always performed at night, these practices can decrease stress, therefore elevating quality of sleep.
Some of my favorite ways to unwind include taking a walk outside, talking with a friend, enjoying a cup of hot tea, or indulging in a Shift Delta 8 chocolate.
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