It may seem impossible. Night after night you struggle to get a good nights rest. So much on your plate, it never seems like there's enough time to finish all that's on your to-do list right? I get you friend! Making a few tweaks in your routine could make a world of difference for your sleep quality and quantity.
1. Getting good sleep starts during the day. Your body is on the circadian rhythm. Just like the sun rising and setting, you do the same. Every cell in your body naturally wants to coordinate to to this rhythm. Why fight it? When you wake up, take 15 minutes to get into the morning sunlight. Take your morning routine outside. No sunglasses here. Allow your body to wake up. 2. Start your day with a morning exercise routine. Again, wake the body up with movement. This will engage you physically and allow you to expend energy early in the morning. No exercising 3-4 hours before bed time. 3. If you love naps--no napping after 3pm! 4. Begin to get ready for bed at least 45 minutes before you actually want to go to sleep. This means taking a nice warm bath (maybe add some epsom salts and essential oils) and start winding down. Nothing exciting here. This is not the time to watch a scary movie! Grab a good book and relax. 5. Take the TV out of your bedroom. Your bedroom is for sleeping and sex. A TV is stimulating and creates blue light. 6. Block the blue light at least 45 minutes to an hour before bed. Get yourself some fancy blue light blocking glasses. I talked about mine in the last live video in the Wellness With Gina and Audrey FB Group. 7. Bring the temperature down to somewhere between 65-72 degrees. If you are menopausal and having trouble with night sweats--the colder the better! The Chili Pad comes highly recommended for keeping your side of the bed cool all night. 8. Turn out the lights! You need a dark room to get your melatonin active and to help your body know it's time to sleep. Any light (a night light, street lights, etc) can have an impact on your sleep. My good friend Norma turned me on to an alarm clock that wakes you up using just light! How cool is that? Yes--light can be strong enough to wake you. 9. Pillows and mattresses. What's your favorite? We have a tempurpedic. I also have a tempurpedic pillow that's my favorite. Actually, I sleep with three pillows. Ridiculous--I know! I've got a body pillow because I happen to be a side sleeper. I also need a pillow for my wrist and a pillow for my head. The body needs alignment! 10. No eating 3-4 hours before bed. Your body needs to be in rest and repair mode while you sleep. If you've eaten (that means even a handful of nuts) it's too busy digesting. Digestion takes alot of energy. Give your body a good 12 hour fast (mostly sleeping time) when it can do the job of repair. 11. Cut the alcohol and caffeine. Though we may think that alcohol is helping us sleep, it's actually disturbing that deep sleep stage we talked about last week. Ditch the alcohol right before bed. If you're getting the afternoon slump and needing a cup of coffee do it before 2pm. Caffeine has a 5-6 hour half life. That simply means it takes 5-6 hours for your body to eliminate half the caffeine from your system.
12. Gratitude. Do you have a gratitude practice? Meditation is a great way to incorporate a gratitude practice into your daily routine. Meditation is a practice in focus. Sometimes getting a good nights sleep can seem elusive because of "monkey mind." When you can put that monkey to rest, you're more apt to getting a good nights rest. At the subconscious level, bringing a practice of intentional gratitude through meditation will create a calm spirit leading to better more restful sleep. Read more about it HERE.
13. Most important--consistency. Just like everything else, if you're trying to improve in the sleep area--you've got to be consistent. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time EVERY day. I know it's difficult but you're trying to reset your hormones and your internal clock.
Your Body Loves Sleep
Are you killing it when it comes to sleep? Send me a message and let me know what you're doing that's working. If you find yourself needing MORE sleep, or waking up tired in the morning, you may need to work on your sleep hygiene. Follow these simple steps--maybe not all at once, but tackle them one at a time. Your body loves sleep because it NEEDS sleep. At different points in our lives our sleep changes. Having a baby, stress, grief, aging or any number of life circumstances will change your sleep pattern. Remember that it's not forever! Make an extra effort to practice good sleep habits and see how your sleep will improve over time.