The Sleep Cleanse Challenge

Feb 7, 2022
Sleep Cleanse

Most have heard of cleanses related to your nutrition and diet. There are juice cleanses, detox cleanses, colon cleanses, etc. But what about a cleanse for your sleep? 

According to the Sleep Foundation, adults aged 18 to 64 need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Adults over 65 need 7-8 hours. But 35.2% of all U.S. adults report sleeping less than seven hours per night. And almost half of all Americans say they feel sleepy during the day, between 3-7 days per week.

With such a tired population — and easy access to stimulants like caffeine and sugar — Americans are seemingly fighting the never-ending battle of daily burnout in their sleep hygiene alone. When you consume stimulants, the nervous system experiences a rush of energy that's nearly impossible for the body to sustain. Hence, the inevitable crash aftermath. Interestingly, this placebo-like effect that you experience from coffees, candies, and other stimulants is simply not the long-lasting energy source that you seek when you're tired. So this begs the question: is it possible to overcome our co-dependency on stimulants while also staying alert and feeling well-rested?

Say Hello to Your Sleep Cleanse

Just like you would flush your body in a juice cleanse, the purpose of this type of cleanse is to decrease the internal and external stimulants that can interrupt your body’s desired sleep cycle and create a routine that meets that need instead. Here's what you need to do.

First, take an assessment on how tired you are right now on a scale of 1-10 (1 being so exhausted you could lay down anywhere and conk out and 10 being so well rested that you could run a marathon).

Next, choose a 2-day weekend when you will remove all internal and external stimulants and sleep disruptors in order to commit to developing the habits you need for your best night’s sleep. That’s right, you are going to give yourself two days away from smoking (if you are a tobacco user or around tobacco smoke), alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, TV-watching, excess stress, and so on. Anything that qualifies as a key player in sending stimulating chemical messages to your brain, and thus your body, is OUT for the next two days. 

Then, you are going to play around with your best nightly routine for bedtime. Set a bedtime and wake time, then turn off the lights, turn on the calming sounds, turn down the temperature and close your eyes. A myriad of research has found several important habits and routines that support a good night’s rest. Learn more here.

Finally give your 2-day cleanse a try. Make note of how your body and brain is responding. Do you find you need more naps? Do you feel more alert than normal? Does it feel uncomfortable to take a break from all the things going on around you? What is changing? Simply be an observer of your fight and flight system in order to better understand it and your sleep needs. Take time to acknowledge where you are after your cleanse on that same scale of 1-10. Moving forward, what will you want to continue doing in order to improve your sleep hygiene?

Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!

– Casey Edmonds, CHWC, CPT, CMS

Health Advisor | Email Casey

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