Who doesn't love a good night's sleep, right!...
Do you spend your time before bed watching TV or scrolling through Instagram? Are you up late each night working or studying and then sleep in the next day? Do you lay awake at night, trying to sleep and wishing your mind would just stop?! I hear you and i've been there before.
I chose to write this post because I see how common it is for people nowadays (and have been a culprit myself) to practice poor sleep hygiene and suffer from insomnia and disrupted sleep. With modern day demands and stress, our sleep if affected and our overall health. In saying that, we do have the power and the ability to reclaim our much needed and well deserved eight hours of quality Zzz’s each night.
Sleep has and always will be imperative to good health. Remember those nights when you were kept awake and your mind was racing? You then spend the next day feeling grumpy, tired, holding back yawns when speaking with your clients, energy levels are low and you go for that third or fourth coffee just to keep you moving until the end of the day? There are endless amounts of factors that contribute to poor sleep, such as artificial light before bed, caffeine too late in the day, food intolerances, high levels of stress (physical, mental & emotional), low mood, relationship issues, etc etc etc. There are so many stressors today that it takes practice and dedication to manage them, but it is so worth it and your sleep will improve as a result.
I could quite easily say that every one of my clients, regardless of their age and gender, have at some stage experienced the affects of poor sleep and are often unsure how to adopt healthy and helpful sleep hygiene practices. Here are two of my important and effective tips for good, quality sleep, so that you can start each day feeling refreshed, energized and rearing to go!
Tip #1: Meditate, meditate, meditate!
If you are not yet friends with meditation, I challenge you to give it a go for 10 minutes before bed each night. With our hectic lifestyles, we spend so much time giving to others and racing around that we do not spend enough time (if any) giving to ourselves. I refer to it as ‘recharging our batteries’ and we cannot give what we do not have! Meditation encourages us to be present, in the here and now, and to let go of any thoughts or worries about the past or the future. There is so much more I could write about this topic but give it a go and see for yourself. There are many apps you can download with 5, 10 and 15 minute sessions. Start small and work your way up to 15 minutes if you find the longer sessions too long to begin with. Three of my favourite apps are Headspace, Yoga Nidra Relaxation and Rest & Relax.
Tip #2: Get to bed (and preferably be asleep) by 10pm
Our ancestors knew it better than anyone, that the best time to prepare for sleep is when the sun goes down. Why is this? During a natural 24 hour circadian rhythm cycle, our cortisol (essential hormone produced by the adrenal glands) levels go down with the sun, signaling to our brains that it is time to sleep. Our cortisol levels then rise with the sun, signaling that it is time to get up. If this natural sleep-wake cycle is disrupted due to staying up late, worrying and waking repetitively during the night, so are our hormones! This in turn inhibits our brain and our body’s ability to repair and grow overnight, which is an imperative process for us to go through, to function optimally the next day. Makes sense huh?!
Without getting too in depth here, keep 10pm in mind as a time to be asleep and ensure you are practicing a wind-down routine that will support this important habit. Try taking a warm bath, turn all the lights down, put any electronic devices away an hour before bed, enjoy a cup of chamomile tea and rest your beautiful mind and body. Your body will begin to predict that it is sleep time once you create a positive sleep hygiene routine and a a restful sleep should take place.
There’s two of my favourite tips for good quality sleep. Give them a go and create your own restful routine.
Sleep well lovelies! xx