More and more I'm hearing that people aren't sleeping well. Clients, friends, and family are all having trouble.
When you don't get good sleep it makes you grumpy, it compromises your immune system, it makes you gain weight, it inhibits you from effectively managing your emotions, and it negatively impacts your relationships.
I care about your sleep because I care about your well-being and especially those of your relationships.
better sleep = better you = better relationships
Here are some sleep hygiene tips to help you sleep well, manage your emotions effectively, be healthy, and be primed to make good choices in your relationships.
1) Cut out drug use -
including coffee and alcohol! Alcohol negatively impacts your ability to get into a deep sleep. The caffeine in coffee is too stimulating and can keep you from falling asleep. (Even if you have it before noon!)
2) Utilize a bedtime routine.
Bed time stories and kisses aren't just for kids! Perhaps you need some cuddles before bed! Whatever you decide, do make it a habit. When you establish a bed time routine it gives your body and your brain cues that it is time to rest. It helps your body move through a ritual and will assist in sleep.
3) Set your alarm and then put your screen away.
Ideally, you would be setting your alarm for 9 or 10 hours before you need to wake up in the morning and then put your phone away as you begin your ritual. Screen time is too high for the average person. While your eyes are fixed on screens they are unable to focus on your environment. Your sight helps you cue in to the present moment. If you are lost in Instagram you are involved in someone else's moment and not your own present. This makes it difficult to wind down and sleep.
4) Release your anxiety and stress from the day in some sort of mindfulness exercise.
Using prayer or progressive muscle relaxation will help your body feel permission to relax and to enter rest. In fact, sleep in itself is a spiritual exercise. When you sleep you are aware of your humanity. You are choosing to enter a vulnerable state and trust that God will keep the universe going without you. Entering sleep is an exercise in humility.
5) Exercise regularly.
Your body needs to be tired as much as your brain is tired. In many jobs today, sitting still is the majority of how you spend your workday. Incorporate cardio, resistance, and stretching/relaxing into your weekly routine. The variety is good for your body and will help you rest at night.
6) Make bedtime a positive time for you.
Use a special essential oil at night, treat yourself to a foot massage, or read a book that you enjoy (remember- no screens! Read an actual book).
7) Finally, don't try and incorporate all of this at once.
Start with one new habit. Then you can add as you go. It is better to do small, sustainable baby steps than to create a whole system all at once that you will never use.
Sleep well and prosper!
Take good care,
P.S. If you want to work on doing everything you can to have healthy relationships, please fill out the Contact form found here. I would love to help you as you work on creating fulfilling relationships in your life.
For more research see below:
American College of Sports Medicine (2011, Aug.) ACSM Issues New Recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise Retrieved from http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/news-releases/2011/08/01/acsm-issues-new-recommendations-on-quantity-and-quality-of-exercise
Field, T. (2011, Feb. 25) Touch for socioemotional and physical well-being: A review Developmental Review (30)4 Abstract retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273229711000025
Ratini, M. Ed. (2016, July 30) Sleep more; Weigh Less Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diet/sleep-and-weight-loss#2