When we have a restful night's sleep our body is able to cope with stress better, our pain is reduced and our thinking is more clear.
With so many benefits it makes sense to start with a supportive sleep routine when we go to change our habits for the school year.
So what can we do to make our sleep more supportive?
I'm going to give you a few tips that I use to improve my sleep habits.
One of the simplest, yet sometimes most challenging, habits I associate with supportive sleep is waking and going to bed at the same time each day.
It can be very challenging to get up or go to bed within an hour of the same time each day. But by doing this we offer our body consistency. Our bodies begin to know when and what to expect so it can better prepare itself for the day ahead. Just like with a newborn baby, setting a healthy sleep schedule can improve other functions like digestion and stress levels. Look at your schedule and plan out how you can be in bed for at least 8 hours. Include time for your morning and evening sleep routine.
Once you have decided what time works for your schedule to wake up and go to bed you can then decide what routines you would like to build around your waking and sleeping time.
Creating a routine around your sleep and wake times help prepare your body for the activity ahead, like a marinade before cooking.
Things to try in your morning routine:
A light workout
Things to try in your evening routine:
Yoga or stretching
Self massage or with your partner
Setting a timer can help you stay on track to complete each task. There's no need to make it complicated, simple is easier to accomplish. Knowing ahead of time what you want out of your morning and evening can help you set the tone for your routine. Doing these things can help you build a better routine for a supportive night's sleep.
Now that you know when you want to wake up and go to sleep as well as what routines you want to build around your waking and sleeping, you can ensure you have the proper environment to sleep in.
Having a peaceful environment will help you get the most restful nights sleep possible. What are some steps you can take to improve your sleeping environment?
Keeping the room dark and any blue or LED lights out of the room when possible. Even the glow from a digital clock or phone can affect your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm helps regulate when you wake and sleep. Try a sleep mask if you cant get all the lights out
Make sure that your room is cool with good ventilation. If you are too hot or too cold it can cause you to be restless and not get into a deep sleep. Be sure to have supportive pillows and appropriate blankets for the season.
Try to keep bedroom activities relaxing. If you use your bedroom for other activities such as paying your bills, dealing with stressful conversations, or watching TV it can leave the room charged with the memory of these activities. You might be reminded of the challenges or stress as you're trying to drift off, this can make it difficult falling asleep. Try to keep the bedroom for bed activities like sleeping, self care and meditation.
One last thing to think about when it comes to your sleep habits: What are you consuming during the day or just before bed?
Caffeine is a stimulant, and stimulants aren't a friend of sleep. Drinking Caffeine can make it harder for your body to get into deep sleep. It can also make it harder to release from anxious or stressful thoughts at the end of the day.
Try drinking less caffeine toward the end of the day or maybe try a glass of water in the morning first thing to wake you up instead. ( life can be lived without caffeine, I'll show you how later 😉)
Drinking tea or other beverages later into the evening can leave you having to go to the bathroom during the night. Make sure you communicate with your body. You'll find the sweet spot in proper hydration and bedtime bathroom breaks.
We can also be mindful of what we are consuming mentally before bed.
Watching TV shows or reading books that are intensely stressful or violent can make it harder to fall asleep. Having the stimulation from these images in our minds right before we go to sleep can make it challenging for our brain to relax and let go.
Sometimes it can be helpful to journal before bed to help get any thoughts from the day that might be causing stress or worries onto paper so they are out of our mind. This can be helpful too if you wake up during the night with stressful thoughts or a bad dream. You can write it down and get it out of your mind. That way you can rest soundly knowing that you can deal with the thought in the morning.
As you can see a great night's sleep is more than just sleeping well. It's also about supporting ourselves during the day to have a great night's sleep. A good night's sleep can improve our mental focus, can help relieve pain and make it easier to manage stress throughout the day. It's a simple way to boost your well being. So why not give it a try!
For more guidance on supportive sleep routines check out our social media or book a self care session today!