Sleep well for self care
Sleep is so important. Let me say that again. Sleep is so important!
Google‘can lack of sleep kill you’ and you'll see it has millions of searches, so its safe to say we are all pretty serious about what poor sleep can do to you, especially if you have young kids!
Consistent poor sleep can have a long-term impact on your physical health. It increases your blood pressure and you gain weight more easily than when you have good-quality sleep.
I also find that I get ill more if I sleep poorly, as lack of sleep weakens your immune system. There are mental health impacts, too. Your reaction times will slow down, and you’ll find issues with concentration. Mood changes and memory problems can also occur. This does not sound helpful in empowering you to live the life you choose.
It not only impacts our health but our wealth too, according to research group RAND Europe discovered sleep deprivation in the UK workforce costs the economy £40.2 billion in loss of productivity!
So we cannot neglect our own sleep and the importance of it, but sometimes the obsessing and worrying makes it worse.
But what can we do to sleep better and be our best selves?
CREATE A SELF CARE BEDTIME RITUAL
Most of the following tips can be easily formed into a lovely bedtime ritual you can follow to switch off, relax and help you sleep better. The following suggestions can be seen as end of day hug to yourself to allow you to have a better sleep.
BEAT ANXIETY AND STOP WORRYING
It can be difficult to switch off in your head after a busy day. Grab yourself a journal and write all your worries down, freeing up your mind. It can help to capture what you are grateful for, ideas, feelings and thoughts. Just write however you feel, let the words flow.
I’ve used the Calm app and Insight timer for a while and its lovely to have 10-20 minutes of meditation, breathwork and mindfulness before sleep to really disconnect from the thoughts and get your head in a space for sleep. Find meditations that work for you and as I've progressed in my journey I've worked out how I like to meditate, I now use chanting, mala beads, mantra and crystals and enjoy seeking out different teachers.
Do you go to bed still buzzing with energy? Too much nervous energy flowing around? You may get this from sitting at your desk or day, or just being out of the routine of exercise, or doing lots of exercise. I’d recommend a ten minute bedtime yoga routine to stretch your body and release the buzzing energy so that your body feels ready to rest. I feel that yoga adds to a lovely self care bedtime routine that will help you to sleep better, check out my videos for a bedtime yoga routine.
SCENT TO SLEEP
I find it so nice to light a lovely candle in the bedroom before bed. I’m obsessed with Neom, of course, and love the Tranquility candles or the Perfect nights sleep 3 step programme. I also like Mamma Mio Liquid Yoga candle and anything with Clary Sage and Lavender. It’s so nice to create a bit of luxury for yourself and you can add it as part of your self care ritual before bed.
It’s so easy to sit in bed on your phone, but we know the blue light is bad for us. I have started implementing a new routine in a morning and on a night. I don’t check my phone until after breakfast in the morning. I do find that this cuts out on any 'night before' anxiety. I also do not look at my phone at least 1 hour before bed but instead start my self care routine; read, massage, do a little yoga and meditate. Believe me, the world does not end with you having a bit of detox time and it will really help your sleep and provide a balanced mind for sleep.
Ooh I love a nap! Indulge and enjoy every day if you can, a nap can really help refresh you. Working at home, you can often make time to have a small reset, and I have to say a 30 min nap does help me to be more productive in the afternoon rather than falling asleep at my laptop by 3pm. I recommend doing this if you can and even if you are in the office, perhaps you can find a quiet space to have a rest and some shut eye. In the absence of a nap, try and take 30 mins away from your 'desk', in the quiet, and just chill.
OTHER THINGS TO TRY
It’s worth trying anything for a good night sleep. A warm bath, early bedtimes, avoiding certain foods, please share any tips with me!
As part of living a balanced life, sleep and rest is so important, put your self care first and empower change within yourself for the better.