In my last blog post, I discussed why sleep is important and shared a few tips to improve your sleep, but I had a few messages asking for more tips, so keep reading for my top five tips to sleep better and feel good.
1. Consistent bedtime and waketime
First and foremost, aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day - including weekends! An obvious one, but the temptation to stay up later and snooze later changes your circadian rhythm (biological body clock). Every day your body thrives on a routine, eating, sleeping, you name it. It may not be possible for everyone due to jobs and lifestyle differences.
If you struggle with that snooze button, check out Mel Robbin's '5 Second Rule'. You count down from 5 and then do the action; in this case, count down from 5 and hop out of bed. I recommended watching her TedTalk about it here.
2. A scrumptious evening routine
An hour and a half before bed, starting with my phone - I set up my morning alarm and put it on Do Not Disturb. The urge to check it is high, but my willpower is currently winning. If the temptation to check it is too much, I recommend charging your phone overnight on the other side of the room. Other options include deleting pesky social media apps off your phone and redownloading them the next day.
Top tip: Try to reduce your blue light intake if you can - it will help you fall asleep quicker. Blue light suppresses the body’s release of melatonin, a hormone that makes us feel drowsy.
Next, I brush my teeth, do my skincare routine, wash, apply serums and moisturise.
Then, I put on some relaxing music (this Spotify playlist), make a hot water bottle, light a lavender-scented candle and put extra blankets on my bed. Before getting cosy, I put my Himalayan salt lamp on and get out my current read which is The Heart Of The Sun Warrior by Sue Lynn Tan.
If I don’t fancy reading, I sometimes draw (doodle), do some macrame or listen to an audiobook.
Before sleeping, I spray my pillow with this from Neals Yard Remedies and I highly recommend it. I’ve been using it for years and am only on my second bottle of it.
Then, if I’m on time, an hour and a half later, I switch off my bedside lights, blow out my candle and kiss my honey goodnight. It’s now, on average, taking me 15-30 minutes to fall asleep - it used to take me hours!
Please note that your routine needs to suit your needs and lifestyle, so find out what relaxes you 🙂
3.Let’s talk liquids
If I drink too close to my bedtime, I am sure to wake up in the night, stumble my way to the bathroom and then drink water when I get back into bed, it’s a vicious cycle. So I stop drinking two hours before bed to improve my sleep quality.
I don’t drink coffee anymore, but I stopped drinking (caffeinated) tea at 3 pm - I’ve genuinely noticed a huge difference.
As you probably know, alcohol impacts your sleep
Low amounts of alcohol (fewer than two servings per day for men or one serving per day for women) decreased sleep quality by 9.3%.
Moderate amounts of alcohol (two servings per day for men or one serving per day for women) decreased sleep quality by 24%.
High amounts of alcohol (more than two servings per day for men or one serving per day for women) decreased sleep quality by 39.2%.
(Source: Sleep Foundation)
4. Yoga Nidra
So simple yet so effective, Yoga Nidra, also known as Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) is when your body is in a relaxed state, but your mind is still aware and awake.
NSDR works by slowing down the brain waves, similar to what happens during slow-wave sleep (SWS). Therefore, it improves sleep quality, allows you to relax and can ensure good sleep hygiene. I will explain more in a future blog post, but you can experience Yoga Nidra on the last Thursday of the month in Take A Breath & Relax class.
5. Your Morning Routine is vital
Yes, an evening routine helps you switch off, but your morning routine is what sets you up for the day. What should it include?
Do some movement (walk, yoga, anything that you love!)
Get outside and view sunlight (Getting exposure to sunlight in the morning resets your circadian rhythm)
Start with positive affirmations.
Let me know if these tips help you sleep well and feel good.