09 Mar Sleep Challenge for Better Health
When we talk about better health, most people think about exercise and eating healthy foods. While those are both important, they’re less effective when you aren’t getting enough sleep. Sleep is a critical component of a healthy lifestyle because it gives our bodies time to rest, recharge, and replenish.
Lack of sleep affects your physical and mental health. There’s evidence that suggests a lack of sleep exacerbates autism symptoms! Most of us don’t get enough sleep, and we want to change that. Join our sleep challenge this month, so we can all get healthier together.
Sleep Problems and Autism
It can be challenging for kids with autism or anyone on the spectrum to get to sleep. It’s also easy to get caught in a vicious circle—a lack of sleep increases repetitive behaviors, repetitive behaviors make it more difficult to sleep, and so on. Insomnia, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and gastrointestinal problems are conditions that many autistic people need to deal with before they can achieve a good night’s sleep.
You might want to check out this post about autism bedtime tips before you start this challenge. The video, created by the incredible “Our LANDing Crew” YouTube channel, shares several things you can try to make it easier to sleep.
Ready for a Challenge?
Are you committed to improving your health and getting better sleep? Let’s get started!
Keep track of what time you go to sleep, and what time you wake up.
This will help you see how much sleep you get each day.
Try to go to bed at the same time each day, as well as wake up at the same time.
This helps you realize your body’s natural sleep/wake schedule. You might need an alarm clock at first to wake up at a certain time, but once you get your body used to a schedule you’ll find yourself getting tired and waking up regularly without clocks.
Avoid caffeine and other stimulants, especially after sunset.
These things will disrupt your body’s sleep cycle by making it harder to fall asleep.
Avoid exercising in the evening.
Try to schedule your workouts in the morning, or do light exercises throughout the day.
Avoid sugary foods late at night.
Finish your meals at least one hour before bedtime, and focus on nutrient-rich foods later in the day.
Engage in a calming activity at bedtime.
This is different for everyone. Some people respond well to yoga or meditation. Some like to use calming apps to help them relax. Other people prefer to read at bedtime. Try different things to find something that will help you start to relax at the end of the day. This video on how to fall asleep more quickly might help.
After 30 days of this sleep challenge, you should be able to identify your body’s natural sleep pattern. Over time, if you stick with your schedule and routine you will start to feel more rested and energized! This can improve your quality of life in several ways, from better social communication to an enhanced ability to pay attention.
Better sleep isn’t the only way you can improve your health! Why not give our water challenge a try, too?
Whether you’re seeing results from our sleep challenge or you need a few suggestions from the community, find us on Facebook and share the news. We want to help you live your best life, and we can’t wait to hear all about it!