World Sleep day is here and is a great opportunity for you to reflect on your sleep quality & habits. Over the years I have worked with many clients who struggle to sleep. In our time together we explored many options to find best sleep practices for them. I am pleased to share this well rounded list of tips & practices for you to explore & use from our experience and current research.
The Sleep Practices, Tips & Tools
- Reflect on your optimal range of hours of sleep. After what amount of time do you wake feeling refreshed and ready to go? Research shows that 7-9 hours sleep helps humans function well cognitively the next day. Remember you may be an outlier at either end of this range. The important information here comes from you and your body knowledge.
- Set an earlier bed time.
- Develop a pre-bed routine. Pack your morning bag & lunch, brush & floss your teeth, prepare your bedroom (pull blinds, switch on the bedside lamp, generally make the room feel cozy – make this a ritual).
- Stop refined sugar & caffeine well before 4pm. These are both stimulants so can keep you awake.
- Exercise earlier in the day, especially high to medium intensity sessions.
- Use gentle forms of pilates, yoga or stretch sessions to help you relax & prepare for sleep. (As long as these calm rather than stimulate you.
- Use meditation, breathing or visualisation techniques in the evening.
- Shut off emails & technology 2-3 hours before bed. A tough one but I have heard clients sense of relief on this one over and over. I always say…”The work will still be there in the morning.”
- Get an old fashioned alarm clock.
- Keep phones in kitchen or living room shut off overnight.
- Switch off WiFi overnight.
- Understand what is the best temperature range in your bedroom for you to sleep comfortably.
- Choose covers & sheets to help you sleep comfortably.
- Put up black out blinds.
- Try a better pillow. Consult with a doctor or physio here on what you need.
- If drinking a lot of liquid in the evening stimulates you needing a pee overnight, drink your fluid intake earlier in the day.
- Enjoy a camomile or valerian tea in the evening. (If these don’t stimulate you needing a pee overnight! 😀)
- Save serious conversations for the next day.
- Have a notepad beside your bed in case you wake up in the night with an idea you want to save.
- Take a magnesium tablet before bed. This is an essential mineral which has a calming effect amongst other great benefits! You can also add magnesium rich foods to your daily food intake. Check in with your nutritionist, nutritional therapist or dietician before taking any supplements. Dark leafy greens. Seeds and nuts (almonds, cashews, sesame & sunflower seeds). Squash, brocolli. Legumes. Unprocessed whole grains
- Deal with stress in your life.
Try one or two of these this week…
Mix and match these practices until you find what works best for you.I would love to know which of these practices work for you or if you have any not listed you feel would benefit others. Share them with me in a tweet @positivelyslim
Sleep well my friends.