5 Practical tips for more restful sleep
There's been a huge shift for mental health awareness of recent, which is something very near and dear to my heart as so many of us walk around feeling alone, disconnected, misunderstood and suffering in silence…. or we’re close to someone who is (and we may not even know it which makes it even more heart wrenching.)
Today I wanted to share 5 practical tips to a more restful sleep because sleep (or lack of) is one of those things that can make or break our #mentalwellness. It not only affects our moods, it affects our performance, our health, our perception, our focus, how we interact with others and our sense of self and yet, most of us know this but still aren’t getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
We forego sleep in the name of productivity, but in fact our productivity is substantially reduced when we’re sleep deprived. The reality is that most of us need 8 hours of good ol’ fashioned sleep to be truly efficient and a bad night could have a major impact on how the day ahead unravels.
1) Stay away from ‘intense’ TV before bed
Listen, I get it if you’re one of those people that needs the TV on to fall asleep. I’m not saying don’t watch TV before bed (although you definitely should shut the electronics down after a certain time to let your body fall into it’s natural rhythm), I’m just recommending to be #mindful of what you choose to stimulate your brain with before bed.
Some alternatives: Take a shower, watch a comedy series, a short web series, read a book, color or find any other activity that unwinds you from the day and clears your mind a bit. Which leads me to the next tip…
2) Light yoga or meditation
I speak from first hand experience when I say sometimes our busy lifestyles can overstimulate us and cause insomnia or sleep troubles. We live in a world that’s online and plugged in 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, most of us have a constant stream of thoughts about tasks that need to be done and if we work in environment where we sit for long periods of time or do repetitive tasks, our bodies get stiff after awhile fromthe daily grind. Bedtime Yoga does wonders.
Even if you’re not a yoga advocate, there are simple yoga poses that relieve tension in your shoulders and spine, such as an Easy Forward Bend or Child’s Pose. Experiment with some breathing exercises and if you want to completely empty your mind, you could try a few minutes of mediation. Just don’t do intense sessions, or your heart rate could get too high, making it harder to relax in bed.
I’ve been doing Yoga with Adriene for the past 2 years, she’s incredible. Check out her Youtube Chanel here.
3) Ambient music
Ambient music not only reduces the outside noise, but it helps to lower the mental noise as well. Also a nice alternative to the TV. I've added some of my favorites to a playlist for you here.
4) Drink just enough water
The need to go to the bathroom could disrupt your dreams, so you don’t want to fit in all your water for the day before bed, but drinking just helps prevent dehydration at night which could cause severe discomfort and insomnia. Drinking water before bed aides in flushing toxins, avoiding muscle cramps and helps keep our mucus thin and loose so we breathe better.
5) Don't watch the clock
If you wake in the middle of the night, because it happens from time to time (perhaps you drank too much water?), whatever you do…. DON’T WATCH THE CLOCK. Don’t even pick your phone up to see what time it is. It doesn’t matter. If you wake up, relax, imagine that there’s plenty of time and let your alarm ring whenever it has to.
Over to you...
What's your #1 tip for a more restful sleep? Share with us in the comments below!