4 Smart Strategies For Superior Sleep

By Kristy Ware | Health

Jul 12

Did you know that developing good night time sleep habits and morning routines promotes better quality sleep and has major health benefits?

Sleep is the cornerstone to everything else you do in your day, and your life. Developing and implementing good sleep habits will make a big difference in the way you start your day, move through your day, and the way you retire and hit the pillow at the end of it. Numerous scientific studies have proven the benefits of consistent bedtime routines for both children and adults.

Sadly, many people forget the importance of sleep or don’t prioritize it nearly enough. Maybe you’re on those people. You stay up too late, work far too many hours or lose track of time watching TV or playing Candy Crush. No matter what you do with your time, lack of rest leads to lack of energy, productivity, focus, a depleted immune system, and the risk for injury and illness. Planning for 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, that is bookended with morning and evening rituals, will help you wake up feeling refreshed, energized and eager for the day.

The same rings true for adults. The first 30-60 minutes of your day sets the stage for the rest of our day. If you sleep in and rush out of bed, run around the house gathering your things and getting ready for work you have started your day with both stress and urgency. Getting up a few minutes earlier to begin the day with enough time and a sense of ease will have huge benefit to your health and well being.

The same is true about bedtime. What you do 30-60 minutes before heading to bed sets up your subconscious thoughts and bodies sleep patterns. I always encourage my clients to create and establish good sleep habits that bookend their day so they feel their best as often as possible.

When you were a kid, bedtime likely included some sort of ritual that took about 45 minutes. A warm bath, stories and lullabies were some common routines. As we age and life changed, it seems, more often than not, people forgot the importance of sleep routines and how much they support how you feel and function.

Here are 4 of my favourite sleep tips. Give them a shot and see how your day changes.

4 Tips to create good bedtime routines and better sleep:

  1. Wind down at least 45-60 minutes before you want to fall asleep. No high intensity exercise, no loud music, no TV, phones, iPads or stimulating activities. Seriously. No screens.
  2. Create a bedtime ritual for yourself. It could include stretching, yoga, meditation, listening to calming music, reading a book, taking a bath.
  3. Put a pad of paper and pen on your night stand. Use it before bed to write down things you do not want to forget the next day, ideas you have and inspirations. Dump your brain!
  4. Climb into your cave. Creating a space that is dark, quiet, cool, and comfortable will improve your sleep immensely. Your bedroom should be for intimacy and rest only, no outside distractions.

4 Tips to create great morning routines and a more positive day:

  1. Wake-up and don’t reach for your phone or turn on your computer for at least 30-60 minutes. Facebook and emails can wait. Your brain needs time to wake-up, set itself up for the day. It’s a great time to let inspiration and creative ideas flow freely – jumping onto your phone shuts that all down before it even has a chance to begin.
  2. Spend the first 10-30 minutes in meditation, journaling, gratitude practice, doing your positive affirmation practice, stretching or doing yoga. Set your mind and body up for success.
  3. Look at your list from the night before. Choose 3 things you can accomplish that day. Make a plan to get things you need and want to do done. This will keep your stress level in check and your mind in the game.
  4. Don’t hit snooze! Hitting the snooze button causes a brain jolt followed by deep relaxation (over and over again), wreaking havoc on your energy and brain power. Use that extra snooze time to actually sleep and then get up when you need to. It takes some practice but it’s worth it. 

Amazing things begin to happen when you start developing healthy routines around your sleep and waking times. You feel more creative, relaxed, and focused throughout your day.

Two of the most important times of the day are the first hour you wake up in the last hour before you go to bed. Make them count, create healthy habits, and see how amazing you begin to feel!

Which of these tips was the most useful for you?

Leave a comment below and let me know how you plan to improve your sleep hygiene.

 

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