10 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP

“If you are having a lot of trouble sleeping, your body may be trying to tell you something about the way you are conducting your life. As with all other mind-body symptoms, this message is worth listening to.”                      

Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

Our sleep habits are closely intertwined with the way we live our lives. If we are stressed and reactive all day long, rushing through the day and feel pressured, it may not be a surprise that it is not easy to wind down for sleep at night.

Finding calm and quiet time during your day will increase your ability to go to sleep at night. Learn to get still in “small retreats” during the day such as meditation, yoga, drinking a hot cup of tea in quiet, practicing Alexander Lie-down, looking out the windows … whatever helps you to get reconnected to yourself.

Here are some 10 tips to improve you sleep habits:

#1 Turn Your Bedroom into a sleep-friendly Environment

A quiet, dark, and cool environment helps promote healthy sleep. Lower the volume of outside noise with earplugs or a “white noise” appliance. Use heavy curtains or an eye mask to block light. If a pet regularly wakes you during the night, you may want to consider keeping it out of your bedroom. Keep computers, mobile devices, TVs, and work materials out of the room. Make sure, you associate your bedroom with sleep!

 

# 2 Establish a Soothing Bedtime Routine

Create a routine with relaxing activities at least one hour before bed. Take a bath, read a book, practice relaxation, Alexander Technique lie-down or meditation. Avoid stressful and stimulating activities. It causes the body to secrete stress hormone cortisol which is associated with increased alertness. Aim for 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night.

 

# 3 Put your Worries aside and Count your Blessings

If you tend to take your problems to bed, try writing them down on a list and then putting it aside. Making a gratitude list as part of your bedtime routine may help to focus on the blessings in your life rather than on the list of unresolved problems and worries.

 

# 4 Avoid Screen Time before going to Sleep

Using an ipad or phone before bedtime makes it harder to fall asleep. Lots of studies have confirmed that being exposed to white and blue light given off by electrical devices in the evening prevents our brain from releasing melatonin that hormone that lets us know it is sleeping time! It has also been researched that people who are highly engaged in social-media have low sleep quality! Shut down your social-media practices early in the evening and keep the phone out of the bedroom!

 

# 5 Eat Right, Sleep Tight

Lighten up your evening meals. Finish dinner 3 hours before going to bed. Drink enough water during the day and avoid large consumptions of liquid after 6 pm. Reduce coffee intake and avoid drinking it 4 – 6 hours before bedtime. Limit your alcohol consumption. Although alcohol may help bring on sleep, after a few hours it acts as a stimulant and may increase the number of awakenings and decrease the quality of sleep later in the night. Reduce sugar! A diet high in refined carbohydrates (white flour, processed food, white sugar products) leads to imbalanced blood sugar levels and may keep you waking up at the night.

 

#6 Don’t Be a Nighttime Clock-Watcher

Staring at a clock in your bedroom, either when you are trying to fall asleep or when you wake in the middle of the night, can actually increase stress, making it harder to fall asleep. Turn your clock away from you. If you have to go to the bathroom, keep the lights dim and don’t look at the clock!

 

#7 Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Find your preferred bedtime that gives you enough sleep and keep to it every day so that your body clock can stabilize. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s “internal clock” to expect sleep at a certain time. Try to stick as closely as possible to your routine also on weekends.

 

#8 Exercise Early

Regular exercise improves one’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. Avoid vigorous exercise 3 hours before you go sleep. Best is to work out earlier in the day.

 

# 9 Improve Sleep Naturally with Bach Flower Remedies

Bach remedies are gentle, safe and non-toxic, and assists you in gently restoring your emotional balance. Underlying emotional issues are often the cause for insomnia. The Bach Remedies have shown to be helpful to not only find better sleep, but also to be more positive and balanced during the day.

 

# 10 Reflexology to Find Better Sleep

Reflexology assists self-healing in the body, supports the natural functions of the organs and improves health and well-being. Reflexology treatments help to promote relaxation and find better sleep!

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