Increased Stress, Weight Gain, Depressed Mood are all effects of a poor nights sleep. Many goals will be harder to attain without a solid nights sleep. Research has shown that at least 7 hours of quality sleep is what is the minimum needed for optimal health and it’s best to average 7.5 or more hours of sleep every 24 hours. Sleep has to be a priority if you want to make positive changes in both body and mind and improve your mindset, performance and health.
Here are 8 Great Sleep Tips
1. Love Your Bed. Ever go to a fancy hotel and get the best nights sleep because the bed was absolutely amazing? Imagine that quality of sleep nightly. Invest in the comfiest, most supportive mattress that you can afford. It is an investment in your health, so it is one of those things which should be a priority. In order to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, you spend at minimum 49 hours a week in bed, may as well make your bed a special place. Make sure your bedding and pillows feel equally amazing.
2. Cool, calm and Collected. Make your bedroom space comfortable. Make sure it is uncluttered and calming, and at night, lower the temp in the room so it is slightly cool, as this helps with sleep quality an inducement.
3. Darken your room! The darker the better! Use darkening curtains to block any light shining in. make sure all lights and electronics are off and out of your view. Put tape over any red buttons on electronics that remain lit. It’s best to not have any extra light, or stimulation at least 30 minutes before bed.
4. Track it. Try recording how many of hours you sleep for 2-3 weeks. There are several apps which help you do this and link to smart watches (Sleep++ app is a decent one). This will help you create more awareness about your sleep patterns and habits, so that you can make the necessary changes to improve it.
5. Commit to a schedule. Routine is key to a quality nights sleep. Get yourself to bed within 30 minutes of the same time each night, and get out of bed within 30 minutes of the same time each morning.
6. Don’t hit snooze! Set your alarm for the time you need to wake up and get up when alarm goes off. Setting your alarm only to hit snooze 2-3 times basically removes 15 minutes of quality sleep that could be had.
7. Cut caffeine in the afternoon. Limit or eliminate your caffeine consumption in the afternoon. Non caffeinated coffee, tea or water only. Alcohol has negative effects on your sleep as well, so use with caution if sleep is a priority.
8. Create a routine. Set yourself up for success by preparing yourself for sleep each night, by doing the same things each night. Change up, brush your teeth, wash your face or shower, light a candle, put your electronics away, etc each night before going to bed.
Have trouble winding down? Try one of these strategies 20-30 minutes before going to bed
A) Read. Light reading that’s enjoyable and doesn’t get the mind thinking. Dim the lights, or read by candlelight, and make sure your electronics are away. Reading on a electronic reading device, make sure the blue light emission is minimal and night time reading option is on.
B) Journal. Write down the top 3 moments of your day. Reflect on what went well, what you loved, who you influenced, etc. The Five Minute Journal is a great way to start and end the day! You could also journal what you’re grateful for. Consider all that you have, be thankful for your experiences and knowledge and write these down as another way to reflect on your day and life.
C) Meditate. There are plenty of apps available, two of the main ones are Calm (it has adult bedtime stories as well read to you) and Headspace. Both have quick 5-15 guided meditations. Other options are nature sounds or spa music
D) Listen to a Podcast or Book on Tape. Find a podcast or story you can divert your focus to as you relax. Something that is not super stimulating.
E) Practice breathing. This is a good time to do a 5-15 minute breathing practice, tuning in to slow, deep breathing and totally relaxing your body. Not sure which one would work best? Here are 6 you could try.
F) Pillow talk. Lay with your significant other and chat quietly about whatever. Snuggle up, get cozy and appreciate each other and the company.
F) Reflect on details of one of your favorite memories. Try to remember exactly what you did, the conversations you had, what you ate, what you saw, and how spent each of the hours of that memory. It’s incredibly helpful to recall good memories from our past as a way of distracting the mind and thinking of something that elicits good feelings before bed (instead of stressing about the future because it’s unknown and uncertain).
If Sleep is still a struggle you can try one of these tips to help relax you.
1) Yogi Soothing Caramel Bedtime Tea
2) Magnsium– Magnesium is something deficient in our soil and many of us are deficient in it. A great way to enhance your bodies level of Magnesium as well as get a higher quality sleep is to use a readily absorbed form of Magnesium (Not Magnesium Oxide which is in many over the counter magnesium supplements). Try Natural Calm Powder or ZMA Capsules.
3) Melatonin– Melatonin is a hormone which helps you fall asleep. If you are stressed, your bodies cortisol levels may block melatonin and prevent sleep, which contributes to this cycle. Look for small dose melatonin ~1gram that is sublingual. Stay away from 5-10 mg oral tablets.
Any questions about enhancing sleep, or health and well being let us know how we can help!