Top Six Sleep Tips
Sleep is so important! Even superheroes need to recharge. You may be fuelling on the cleanest diet in the world, but you need to rest and recover if you want to truly thrive! Getting high quality sleep will improve every single aspect of your life; you’ll have more energy for your relationships and social life, you’ll be more focused and productive at work, you’ll have better workouts because your body will get the recovery it needs, and you’ll feel more creative, inspired, and full of life. Those old sayings “sleep is for the weak” and “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” are simple not true or helpful. Sleep is for the smart, the strong, the productive, the energized, and the creative. Sleep makes you more alive. Do you feel that you’re getting the sleep you need to show up as the absolute best version of yourself? If you want to live like a superhero, you need to recharge like a superhero would! And that’s why I’m sharing my Top Six Superhero Sleep Tips!
1. Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary
Make your bedroom a relaxing sleep haven. If work, hobbies, and other activities occur in your bedroom, you won’t be training your brain to associate the bedroom with sleep and rejuvenation! To create a sleep sanctuary, your bedroom should be for only sleep. It should also be dark, quiet, and the right temperature. Invest in some blackout curtains to ensure no outside light is getting in your bedroom. If you live in a noisy area or have loud roommates, get some earplugs! It’s also important that your bedroom is the right temperature. Our body temperatures are higher during the day and drop at night. To get a good sleep, be sure that your bedroom isn’t too hot or too cold!
2. Have a technology curfew
Our smartphones allow us to watch movies, livestream our friends’ lives through social media, go online shopping, work, answer emails, and talk to our people all over the globe. We have access to the entire world from these small devices! Bringing our phones to bed means we bring our work, social life, entertainment, shopping sprees, and todo lists to bed with us too. That’s a whole lot of stimulation at a time when we’re meant to quiet our minds and relax! This is why it’s so beneficial to set boundaries around your smartphone use. It’s helpful to turn your off your technology a full hour before bed. If you use your phone for an alarm clock, invest in an old fashioned alarm clock! Electronic screens also emit an artificial “blue” light that triggers your body to produce more daytime hormones. This will confuse your body and interfere with its natural melatonin production. If you really need to check your phone or laptop before bed, be sure to wear blue light blocker glasses or use a blue light blocking app such as f.lux.
3. Practice a bedtime routine
It can be difficult to sleep when you have a lot on your mind, you’re still thinking about what happened during your day, or you’re thinking about what you need to do tomorrow. Create a bedtime routine that relaxes you, grounds you, and helps you let go of any stress so that you can get the most rejuvenating sleep possible. There is an inverse relationship between cortisol, the stress hormone, and melatonin, the sleep hormone. If cortisol increases, melatonin declines, and vice versa. That’s why it’s important to destress and reduce your cortisol levels before bed. Some ideas for activities you can include in your bedtime routine include stretching, meditating, journaling, practicing gratitude, or doing some bedtime yoga.
4. Be mindful of when you eat, drink, and exercise
Since there is an inverse relationship between cortisol and melatonin, it’s best to exercise in the morning. Exercise is a form of physical stress. If you exercise right before bed, your cortisol will rise, which will lower your melatonin. To get the most rejuvenating sleep, you’ll want to have high melatonin in the evening. I sometimes hear people say they don’t have time to exercise in the morning. If you go to bed an hour earlier though, you’ll gain an hour in the morning, and you can exercise then. Since caffeine is another contributor to increased cortisol levels, it's helpful to avoid consuming caffenaited beverages in the afternoon and evening. It’s also important to stop eating three hours before bed so that you have time to digest before sleeping. If you’re not in an upright position while digesting, you can develop digestion issues. Digestion also takes a lot of energy. If you eat right before bed, your body won’t go into a complete state of rest because it will be trying to digest your food.
5. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
To feel rested and rejuvenated, it’s important to be in sync with your natural circadian rhythm. This circadian rhythm is also known as a sleep/wake cycle, and it’s a biological process that relies on consistency. It's optimal to go to sleep around sunset and wake up around sunrise because our bodies naturally produce melatonin in the evening when it’s dark, stop producing melatonin in the morning when it's light, and release cortisol when we wake up. It may take a while for you to get into a routine, but it's so worth it because you will feel absolutely amazing. And if you’re consistent with your sleep pattern, you’ll notice that you may not even need an alarm to wake up anymore (but of course, if you have somewhere to be, it’s good to set one just incase).
6. Rewrite your story about sleep
The power of your thoughts and beliefs are so incredible. An increasing number of people are experiencing sleep issues in our society. As a health coach, I’ve come to realize that many people are actually anxious about sleep itself because they repeat stories in their heads about how they have sleep problems. Constantly thinking “I can never sleep”, “I have sleep issues”, or “I’m scared my day will be ruined tomorrow because I can’t get to sleep”, is like praying for insomnia! If you’re anxious about going to sleep, your anxiety about sleep will keep you up! It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You may have experienced issues with sleep in the past. But that is the past, and today is a new day! Every moment is an opportunity to create a new way of being. If you find yourself anxious about sleep, say to yourself, “I create the possibility of being someone who loves sleep, of being someone who understand the importance of sleep, and of being someone who sleeps deeply every single night.” Rewrite your story about sleep, and make it a good one! Know that you are worthy of sleep, and getting high quality sleep will improve every aspect your life. You get to write the story of your life, so why not make yourself a character who loves sleep!
If you want to learn more about sleep, be sure to check out Shawn Stevenson and Arianna Huffington’s books about sleep. They are two of my favourite "sleep inspirations", and you'll be fascinated by the information they have to share about sleep. Showing up to life recharged and full of life is a key part of being the Supehero you truly are, and know that you’ll be able to achieve your goals and dreams so much more easily if you consistently get good quality sleep. If you know anyone who is struggling with sleep problems, be sure to share this blog post with them! Oh and have a great sleep tonight!
Lots of love,