3 Smart Strategies For Superior Sleep

By Kristy Ware | Health

Jul 12

Did you know that developing morning and night time habits promotes quality sleep and has major health benefits?

A few of those benefits are: weight loss, better brain function, better recovery from illness or injury, better immune system support, more energy, and you are less likely to have that dreaded afternoon crash.

Developing and implementing good sleep habits will make a big difference in the way you start your day, move through your day and the way you retire and hit the pillow at the end of it. Numerous scientific studies have proven the benefits of consistent bedtime routines for young children. But we tend to forget that sleep routines for are important for us all! What I mean is, 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep that is bookended with morning and evening rituals that help you wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

As kids we thrived on routine and predictability. I believe if there is anything that we can control and put in place for our kids, it’s regular bedtime and waking routines. Who could not use more AM cuddles or books and lullabies before drifting off to dreamland?

The same rings true for us as adults. The first 30-60 minutes of our day are the most important as they set the stage for the rest of our day. If you rush out of bed, run around the house gathering your things and getting ready for work you have started your day with both stress and urgency. Getting up a few minutes earilier to begin the day with ease will improve your health and well being.

The same is true about bedtime. What you do 60 minutes before retiring sets up your subconscious thoughts and bodies sleep patterns. I always encourage my clients to create and establish good sleep habits that bookend our day so that we can feel our best as often as possible.

When we were kids, bedtime included some sort of ritual that took about 45 minutes. A warm bath, stories and lullabies are a great combo. As we got older and life changed, it seems, more often than not, we forgot the importance of our routines and how they made us feel and function.

I want to share my tips for success with sleep.

3 Tips to create solid bedtime routines and better sleep:

  1. Wind down at least 45-60 minutes before you want to fall asleep. No high intensity exercise, no loud music, no TV, phones, iPads or stimulating activities. Seriously. No screens.
  2. Create a bedtime ritual for yourself. It could include stretching, yoga, meditation, listening to calming music, reading a book, taking a bath.
  3. Put a pad of paper and pen on your night stand. Use it before bed to write down things you do not want to forget the next day, ideas you have and inspirations. Dump your brain!

3 Tips to create solid morning routines and a more positive day:

  1. Wake-up and don’t reach for your phone or turn on your computer for at least 30-60 minutes. Facebook and emails can wait. Your brain needs time to wake-up, set itself up for the day. It’s a great time to let inspiration and creative ideas flow freely – jumping onto your phone shuts that all down before it even has a chance to begin.
  2. Spend the first 10-30 minutes in meditation, journaling, gratitude practice, doing your positive affirmation practice, stretching or doing yoga. Set your mind and body up for success.
  3. Look at your list from the night before. Choose 3 things you can accomplish that day. Make a plan to get things you need and want to do done. This will keep your stress level in check and your mind in the game.

Amazing things begin to happen when you start developing healthy routines around your sleep and waking times. You feel more creative, relaxed, and in control.

Two of the most important times of the day are the first hour you wake up in the last hour before you go to bed. Make them count, set clear boundaries and see how amazing you begin to feel!

Which of these tips was the most useful for you?

Leave a comment below and let me know how you plan to improve your sleep hygiene.

 

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