In my last message, I talked about all the harmful toxins that may be affecting your health and wellness and a few simple rules to help you reduce that.
As I continue to share with you how Conscious Living can improve all areas of your life, I have a super important topic for you today - improving your sleep quality.
Not sleeping well now and then can happen to anyone, but it is something serious that you must not ignore when it becomes a pattern. Most people learn how to tolerate sleep deprivation, which means they are not getting enough sleep for months or even years not realizing the underlying side effects happening to their body and mind.
Lack of sleep can contribute to symptoms of depression, cause weight gain, premature aging, affect your memory, your libido, lead to poor concentration making you less productive at work, and even cause serious accidents (Chernobyl nuclear accident and Exxon Valdez oil spills were caused by fatigued employees) and it is responsible for over 100,000 car crashes in the US every year.
Today, I want to show you that although people believe it is out of their control when it comes to sleep (and many other things), there are a few simple upgrades you CAN make to streamline your nighttime routine that can actually help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer!
Keep your evening routine simple – go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Your body loves having a regular daily rhythm and routine.
Don’t work out within 2-3 hours of bedtime. This can leave you feeling overstimulated and make it harder to fall asleep.
Don’t eat close to bedtime, and steer clear of alcohol after dinner. Alcohol might help you fall asleep, but you can get stuck in the “light sleep” phase all night.
No afternoon/evening caffeine. Did you know it can take 8 hours for caffeine to clear your system?
Check your meds & herbal home remedies. Some meds (especially for coughs, colds, and allergies) contain ingredients that stimulate your system.
Take a hot bath or shower before bed. When your body temp drops afterward, it can help you feel sleepy.
Stay away from blue light from TV, phone, or other devices within a couple of hours of bedtime. If you do use a device, install a blue light filter (tip: check your tablet/phone to see if there’s one already built-in).
Spruce up your bedroom. Make sure it’s uncluttered and free from distractions – lights, noises, etc. – and that your bedding is comfortable. Sleeping in a clutter-free zone can make a surprisingly big difference.
Make a to-do list for tomorrow. Write down anything you’re worried about forgetting overnight as a quick reminder, and place it far away from your nightstand (so you don’t have to think about it anymore).
Meditate. Incorporate meditation into your daily routine. Meditation helps you detach from the story behind your stress and anxiety and reduces stress hormones in the system. (Free meditation to help you get better sleep in the comments)
Cleaning up your nighttime routine can go a LONG way towards improving your sleep...
In addition, there are things you can do earlier in the day that can help, too. Two big items:
Get some sunshine & fresh air during the day, if at all possible. Make sure to get in Conscious movement (i.e., exercise, yoga, Thai Chi, etc) most days of the week!
Getting a good night of sleep is a core pillar for healthy living. It has a compound effect on your overall recovery and wellness.
But there are other important factors that my clients tell me prevents them from sleeping well: stress and anxiety
On Thursday, I will share some of the basic teachings of Conscious Living when it comes to overcoming stressful situations in your life.
Don't miss my next post. I will share the real reason most people are stressed and what to do about it.
To a healthier and more conscious life!