When my kids were little, I was obsessed with routines. I’ve always been schedule based and LOVE organising so when I read about the benefits of a bedtime routine in helping them sleep, I was all in! As they have grown up I have become more relaxed about it but we still do make sure we stick to the basic principles.
When my own sleep started to go haywire, I read that having a bedtime routine as an adult can really help too and it made alot of sense. As I started to follow some of the principles myself, my sleep improved and now I get all my clients doing it too.
What works for you is obviously personal but I wanted to share with you the basic steps that I follow to help calm my mind and promote good sleep patterns.
My Top Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
- Aim to go to bed at the same time every night. When your circadian rhythm (your internal body clock) gets out of sync, you can find yourself feeling tired during the day and then wide awake at night. Going to bed at the same time every night can help you to reset it.
- Switch off gadgets at least an hour before bed (no it won’t kill you!) as the blue light affects the release of melatonin, which is the hormone that helps you sleep
- Do something that helps to relax and calm your body and mind (with all the time you now have after you’ve switched your gadgets off ;)). This could be a bath, reading a novel or listening to a guided meditation. Experiment and find what works for you.
- Think about what you’re eating and drinking before bed. Avoid caffeine and sugar which are stimulants and have the opposite effects and replace them with foods that will help promote sleep instead. Add foods that contain tryptophan to your evening meal (chickpeas, turkey and salmon are good options), as they help your body to metabolise serotonin and melatonin which are responsible for helping you to feel sleepy. Also include magnesium-rich foods which helps to calm your mind. A healthy hot chocolate made with almond milk and cacao is a good option, as they both have good levels of this essential mineral, and who doesn’t love a hot chocolate?!
- Make sure your bedroom is a sleep promoting environment. Often our lives spill over into different areas of the house, and it’s easy to get into the habit of using the bedroom to do work or watch TV. But if you are struggling to get sleep you need to make sure your bedroom is a calm and sleep-enducing place again. Things to think about it to make it the right environment for sleep.
- Temperature – you don’t want it to be too hot or too cold as both of those things will disturb your sleep
- Make sure your room is dark, as any light can affect your melatonin levels
- Change into your sleepwear to signal to your brain it’s time for bed
- Invest in a good mattress – one of the best purchases you’ll ever make
- Burning essential oils of having a few drops on your pillow can help you to sleep better – try lavender, clary sage and lemon oil
Which of these tips are you going to implement to help improve your sleep?
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