Sleep is important for your overall wellbeing.
In an age where society praises the hustle, late nights and endless work, I’m here to remind you, sleep is just as important now as when your mum was nagging you to get some shut-eye as a child. (And as someone who is currently one of those nagging mums, the irony of revenge bedtime procrastination is not lost on me)
When we get a quality nights sleep it gives our body a chance to do a whole heap of healing and restoring processes that our bodies are too active to do during the day. When we sleep, many of the bodily functions we take for granted slow down so our body can focus on healing, growth and memory processing.
When we don’t get enough sleep, however, we are unable to do these processes as we should, and our thinking, concentration, energy levels and mood are all affected.
But all this doesn’t just come from sleeping for 8 hours a night, it has to be good quality sleep with the right balance between light sleep, deep sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep
- Light sleep is when your body it’s starting to slow down. However your body is still sensitive to your senses so you can easily be woken.
- Deep sleep is when you fall into a heavy sleep and your body is a restorative state, your heart rate slows down and you have less brain activity so your body can focus on healing and growth.
- REM sleep is when you dream. Your brain is more active processing all that has happened to you throughout the day and working what needs to be stored to memory.
To enable us to have a balanced nights sleep to meet all our needs we not only need a good hormone balance with enough melatonin and serotonin (covered in this blog) we also need good sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene is the collective of both your bedtime routine and your bedroom environment, and how they influence your sleep quality. Good sleep hygiene makes the process of going from awake to sleep more seamless, it helps our bodies know what’s happening and develop a healthy circadian rhythm.
Try these out to improve your sleep hygiene and get a better quality nights sleep.
Bath time – make it a ritual, perfect temperature, essential oils, bath salts, dimmed lighting. Bliss. A bath ritual is a great way to relax your muscles and clear your mind.
No screens – (at least an hour before, but the longer the better). White light can stop you from feeling sleepy, cut them out of your bedtime and switch to reading a book or journaling in dimmed lighting to help your brain wind down and recognise its time to slow down and rest.
Warm drink – consider sipping on some chamomile tea, or if you struggle with inflammation, turmeric milk is a great aid for sleep and relaxation. Avoid anything containing caffeine, this includes chocolate!
Soothing music/sounds – This can vary from person to person so try a few sounds out and see what helps you relax best. I enjoy listening to guided meditations or healing frequency music on Spotify. Also, consider white noise or natural sounds.
Massage – enjoy a moment of relaxation and aromatherapy oils with your partner or practice self-massage. Working out the knots and helping your tense muscle relax after a long day, is a great way to tell your body it’s time for rest. You can also develop scent memory by using the same essential oil every night, such as lavender, this will work as a trigger telling you body it is time to wind down.
Snacks – There are lots of foods you can eat as part of a nighttime supper or throughout the day that will help aid your natural circadian rhythm. Check out this post to learn more about how to eat to aid your circadian rhythm.
Clear and decluttered – This goes for your space and your mind. Keep your bedroom minimal and decluttered, this cuts down on distractions so your mind can focus on rest. If you find your mind is still wondering, keep a journal next to your bed to mind dump all your stresses and worries before sleep or any times you wake up worrying.
Bed Yoga – consider doing yoga as part of your nighttime routine, whether that is during your wind-down or when you are actually in bed. The gentle stretches and deep breathing of a slow flow yoga will help your body relax down and clear your mind
Overall sleep hygiene is about slowing your body down and giving it time to adjust to sleep, allowing it to function in the most optimal way, to rest and recharge. We so often take our bodily functions for granted, assume they are all done on auto pilot, but the body is a complex machine and all of those complexities need to be taken into consideration to function smoothly and effectively.
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Please be aware all information in this blog is based on my own personal experience and research, and I am not a medical professional. If you are needing advice about a medical condition, please seek advice from a medical professional.
This blog follows my personal research and learning into health and wellbeing, as well as my own personal comments on the subject matters. All blog posts contain my own personal opinions and does not reflect the opinions of any organisations I may be affiliated with. Any information I provide on my blogs is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes that I am unaware of. All information presented on this blog is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t been seen as advice. I reserve the right to change how I manage or run my blog and may change the focus or content on my blog at any time