In my last blog, I spoke about the feeling of being 'switched on' and how being 'switched on' means we are in our sympathetic nervous system (our fight or flight response). When this is happening regularly, it has a massive impact on our overall wellbeing.
One of the best ways to help combat stress, fatigue and overwhelm is to get rest, sleep! Many studies have shown that our sleep quality has a major effect on our health and wellbeing. However, a goodnight's rest can be difficult to achieve, especially when we are stressed, anxious and 'switched on.' Not only that, there could be many things we are doing before bed that impact the quality of our sleep.
It has been a journey for me over the years, especially since my son was born to get a goodnight's rest and still there are times I have poor sleep. Something that has really helped me to improve my quality of sleep is having a pre- bedtime routine/rituals. There are numerous things we can do to help facilitate a deeper, more restful sleep.
After speaking with some of my wellness friends about tips they recommend to their clients on how to improve sleep quality, I have compiled a list to share with you.
So here we go:
1.) Have a regular bed time - routine is key for a restful sleep.
2.) Limit screens as much as possible in the evening - at least 60 minutes before bed (I know this is hard and one I struggle with). Many studies have shown that the blue light, which comes from our phones, computers, lights and TVs, has an effect on our quality of sleep.
3.) Restorative yoga/stretching - some gentle stretches right before bed, can release tension in the body and help the body relax.
4.) Breathing practice/ meditation - Meditation and breathing practices can help you get into to your parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest system). Doing simple breathing practices, like equal inhale/exhale or inhale for a count and exhale for the double (I usually do a count of 3, 4 or even 7), or a guided meditation can be just what you need to prepare yourself for sleep.
5.) Journalling - a gratitude list is an awesome thing to do right before bed, this practice can truly help induce a relaxed, content feeling. Also writing a to-do list or schedule for the next day, can get those worries out of your head, so you don't have to think about them in the night!
6.) Use sleep aids - eye mask, ear plugs, essentials oils or gentle soothing music.
7.) Hot bath or cool shower - 30 minutes before bed a hot bath can help calm and relax the body and a cool (not too cold) shower can lower your body temperature, preparing you for sleep.
8.) Look at what you are doing during the day - like how much coffee you drink, exercise timing, eating food too late, alcohol too close to bed time. These can all have an impact on your sleep quality.
9.) Repeat, repeat and repeat - the body thrives on rituals/routines.
I recommend experimenting with some of these tips, see what works and feels right for you and then stick to your pre-bedtime ritual/routine. Of course, there will be days that things change, but a regular sleep ritual can have a wonderful impact on your health, wellbeing, energy levels and mood.
If you want to learn more about meditation and restorative yoga practices that you can use for sleep time routine, check out my online programs - Daily Dose of Slow: Tools to Optimise Your Day and Weekly Dose of Slow: 3-Part Video Series. Here you can learn - meditations, yoga and breathing practices to help your during day and practices you can use right before sleep. Check out the programs here.
Wishing you all the best and nights full of sweet dreams!
Love and Light,
PS - Stayed tuned for my 4-Part Video series, where I will be interviewing some amazing women with more tips on how to slow down, explore yourself and live lighter and brighter.
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