In my last blog 5 Ways To Nourish Yourself I verrrrrry briefly touched on the importance of sleep as one of the key ingredients to nourishment. I mentioned that I would need to do a whole blog post dedicated to sleep with some simple things that you can incorporate into your Power Down Hour so that you can be sure to get a better night sleep. So here we are!
A lot of my beautiful clients are mothers, so simply asking them to try get some extra sleep is almost completely unrealistic (and completely insensitive!). I like to spend my time when working with people who can't just choose to power down an hour earlier, or make sure they get a solid 8 hours; how to increase the depth and quality of sleep, even if its broken or not as long as you would ideally need.
In everything I do when I am working with someone, my intention is to have you reconnect to yourself and the incredible in-built feedback loop within you. That, and your intuition. I'd like to mention here that my philosophy is that we are all very much unique and individual. What works for one person may not work for the next. Or what affects one person may not for their mother, brother, daughter, friend etc. That is why it is so important to me that my clients connect and tune into their own being, their innate intelligence, and have that provide the answers and solutions.
Here is my HOW TO SLEEP Guide - in no particular order they are all equally helpful
Practice the regular rhythms of sleep - going to bed and waking up at the same time each day is super beneficial. Our body naturally thrives with cycles and consistency
No TV in the bedroom - or any screens for that matter. I totally get that in this day and age that technology and screens follow us everywhere BUT if you are struggling to wind down at night - this would be one of my first suggestions.
Create an aesthetic environment in your bedroom that encourages sleep - by using serene and restful colours and eliminating clutter and distraction, you are setting yourself up for success when it comes to sleep. Make it your sanctuary. Somewhere you feel safe, comfortable and completely blissed out. I loveeee to diffuse sleep-promoting essential oils in the bedroom to help create that peaceful ambience. Also because of how they impact our limbic system in the brain. Using sleep-promoting oils consistently over time will have your brain associating that aroma with safe sleep time!
Create darkness and quiet - as much as your home allows. You could consider using eyeshades and earplugs if you are really needing some support to zen out.
Avoid caffeine especially after noon - so much this! For a few reasons: it can have a disruptive effect on your sleep. It is a stimulant so that contributes to difficulty falling asleep. It is also possible that caffeine an delay the timing of your body clock. Not conducive to a good nights sleep!
Avoid alcohol - although for some of us it may help you get to sleep, it makes your sleep interrupted and of poor quality.
Get regular exposure to daylight for at least 20 minutes daily - The light from the sun enters your eyes and triggers your brain to release specific chemicals and hormones like melatonin that are vital to healthy sleep, mood, and even ageing.
Eat no later than two hours before bed - eating a heavy meal prior to going to bed can lead to a bad night's sleep and impedes the body’s overnight detoxification process
Brain Dump - Write your worries down. During your Power Down Hour, write down the things that are causing you anxiety and make plans for what you might have to do the next day to reduce your worry. This is super helpful to free up your mind and energy to move into deep and more restful sleep.
Take a hot bath or shower - Raising your body temperature before bed helps to induce sleep. A hot bath also relaxes your muscles and reduces tension physically and psychically. By adding 1/2 to 1 cup of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) and even 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) alongside some relaxing essential oils to your bath; you will gain the benefits of magnesium absorbed through your skin, the alkaline-balancing effects of the baking soda, and the benefits of the essential oils all of which help with sleep
Get a massage, stretch or have sex before bed - I don't think I need to go into the details about why this is good for you - enough said!
Warm your middle with a hot water bottle - this raises your core temperature and helps trigger the proper chemistry for sleep.
Avoid medications that interfere with sleep - These include sedatives (these are often used to treat insomnia, but ultimately lead to dependence and disruption of normal sleep rhythms and architecture), antihistamines, stimulants, cold medication, steroids and headache medication that contains caffeine as a few examples.
If you would like to discuss a plan to set you up for success in getting a restful nights sleep, click here to contact me.
I hope you found this helpful and would love if you could share in the comments at least one of these that you are choosing to implement in your life to encourage and support more rest.