The Healing Power of Sleep

23 August 2017, Comments: 0

One of the easiest ways to care for your body in recovery is to get enough sleep.

Gone are the days of A-type personalities wearing their “I only need four to five hours of sleep per night” badges of honor. Countless studies now indicate that the vast majority of people require at least seven to eight hours of sleep for optimal health.

A-typers are even catching on.

It seems the badge of honor is now “I’m smart, informed, and know that sleep is vital to performance, so I get at least seven hours.” It’s amazing how the cultural view around sleep has changed.

Have you ever noticed your bulimic urges are much harder to resist when you’re tired?

Mine were.

The familiar acronym HALT is valid and effective. When faced with a perceived need to eat, halt and ask, “Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired?” If you’re not truly hungry, emotional eating will likely fall into one of the three latter categories. So never let yourself get over-tired. It will serve your recovery well.

Here are a few simple strategies to increase your chance of getting a good night’s sleep:

• Decrease water intake a few hours before bed
• Make sure your bedroom is quiet (silicone earplugs come in handy)
• Keep your bedroom below 70 degrees
• Remove all electronics, including the TV, from your bedroom
• Stop using technology 90 minutes before retiring
• Get to bed at or before 10pm—the value of sleep between 10pm and 2am is reportedly optimal
• Prepare for bed one hour before you actually want to be asleep—if you are a woman—your route to the pillow is always circuitous
• Keep your bedroom as dark as possible (I use an eye guard—my poor husband!)

Getting a good night’s rest is like picking low-hanging fruit to fill your recovery basket. These sleep strategies can be invaluable in helping reduce your binge/purge impulses.

Which will you implement today?

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