Who Needs Sleep? Do you remember that Barenaked Ladies song from the 90’s that sang….“Now I lay me down not to sleep?” ……As that song described trying to fall asleep and stay asleep at night can be hard. Our brains are bombarded all day long and it can be challenging to find ways to shut them down so we have the most restful of slumber. Here are five simple Healthy and Hygge ideas I have gathered to help you make the transition to sleep smoother.
- Turn off the TV, put away the phone, shut down social media, etc. and breathe. Yes, the TV, the phone, and even a good book can keep our brains engaged. So find something to do that gives the relaxing feeling of summer nights by the campfire or winter nights cuddled under the blankets. And keep electronics out of the bedroom. Yes, your phone may be your alarm clock but have it far enough away from your bed that you are not waking up to check Facebook statuses or see how many new followers you have on Instagram in the middle of the night. Believe me, your brain and body will thank you for a break from social media and electronics!
- Have a glass of wine. This is something my 96 year old grandmother swears by. Don’t get me wrong, I do live in Wisconsin and we do enjoy our adult beverages but I do have to disagree that alcoholic drinks are not necessarily the best beverages of choice for a restful sleep. However, I think the premise behind how my grandma relaxes to enjoy the glass of wine is important. I have found something soothing, like a cup of Sleepy Time tea with a splash of cream and dab of honey does the trick as a calming option an hour or so before bed. With the lights dimmed, and maybe even candles glowing (I cheat and turn on, via remote, electronic candles in my living room), turn off the TV to prepare the brain and body for sleep; reflect on the day and set intentions for tomorrow. I often have a pen and paper with me to make lists of things I want to accomplish to help get the thoughts out of my head and to help hold myself accountable the next day. It is a type of purging tactic that helps to clear the brain of tasks that may keep it churning in the night.
- Have a routine…Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday—yes even on the weekends! Apple has made this easy to do on the I-Phone by using the “Bedtime” function in alarms. You have the option of setting a time to go to bed and a wake up. The wake up alarm with this function starts out softer then gradually gets louder; helping ease the body and mind out of slumber vs. the jolting it awake by blaring in our ears. 7-9 hours of sleep is the average requirement for most adults but if you are “night owl” trying to go to bed at 8pm can be challenging. Find the time that works best for your body and stick to that time to get 7-9 good hours of sleep. For example, if you function better going to bed at 11 and waking up at 8 do that or if you enjoy going to bed at 9 and waking up at 5, do that. Finding the sleep pattern that best fits your life and following it can make all the difference in the world!
- Some form of physical activity throughout the day helps not just our body but also our mind be more prepared for sleep. So my challenge to you is to find something you like to do and get out there and do it! Another important part besides finding a physical activity you enjoy is finding the time of day that works best for your body to do this activity. If you are an early riser, maybe the 5am workout time is better for you. But if you have energy at the end of the day do it then. I realized several years ago that after work was my prime exercise time! I honestly think the reason why goes back to elementary school; as a kid I was always at a group sport after school…track, cross-country, soccer, dance, etc. and have found participating in those activities essential to my sleep habits as an adult.
- Something new I have been experimenting with in my personal routine: Essential Oils. The combination of V6, lavender, Cedar wood, and cypress creates a soothing smell to be used bedtime. I add this combination to my neck and feet as I crawl into bed to help soothe my senses and influence sleep. On June 10th Healthy and Hygge: Your Life and Wellness Coach will be partnering with Essential Oils expert Shannon Elliot to offer a FREE afternoon event about healthy sleep habits and how essential oils can be used to compliment. Register on Facebook today:
As the sun starts to set… Don’t start counting sheep like the Barenaked Ladies instead take some time before bed to prepare your mind and body for sleep. Try the above suggestions to see what combination works best for you to make tonight a successful sleep.