A Good Night’s Sleep
As the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer, it makes me think about the winter, and hibernation. I really think it’s a lovely idea - such a nice, long period of deep, restorative rest. Mmmmm…
Just think of the marmot, whose heartbeat slows down to 3-4 beats per minute for up to 8 months! While I don’t really want to miss out on 8 months, I would like to get that kind of rejuvenation, and I bet you would too!
As you may know, I have had some struggles around sleep myself, so I thought I’d write down all those little things I have learned about to help keep my sleep on track and share them with you. Maybe there’s a gem in here that will get you back to sleeping like a baby. Not a newborn, but an older baby...when they sleep thru the night. :-)
Tips for a good night’s sleep:
Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet. If you can't escape a noisy environment, invest in a white noise machine, humidifier or fan to mask the offending sounds.
Stick to the same bedtime and wake time. Yes, even on the weekends! When your body has a consistent rhythm it is easier to wind down.
As part of your bedtime routine, shut off your electronics and dim the lights at least one hour before bed. Do some light stretching, read an old-fashioned book with real pages to turn, or listen to some relaxing music.
Try a hot bath with Epsom salts and/or essential oils. The cooling of the body after a bath can help to induce sleep. Some experts suggest doing this about 2 hours before bed.
Exercise can help, but try not to do it in the evening, as it can have a rousing effect on your mind and body.
Avoid napping, if possible, especially in the afternoon, as this has been shown to disrupt nighttime sleep in some individuals. If you must nap, keep it under 30 minutes.
Avoid stimulants, like nicotine and caffeine, especially in the afternoon and evening. These can make it hard to fall asleep, or sometimes even cause trouble staying asleep.
Get daytime light exposure. Making sure to expose yourself to natural light/dark cycles can help maintain a good circadian rhythm.
Eating before bed can be bad for some people, as it can contribute to indigestion and discomfort, making it hard to sleep.
Conversely, some people need a bedtime snack to maintain blood sugar levels throughout the night. If you wake in the night, try eating half an avocado before bed. The fat can help sustain you through the night, and avocados are also high in magnesium, which can help you relax.
Meditation or visualization can be helpful to quiet your mind and relax your body.
As we’ve mentioned in several past articles, sleep is very important for so many aspects of our health. Why don’t we all do a little for our own wellness and get sleeping!
Let us know if you have any additional tips on great sleep, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below!