Getting Good Zzzzz's.....
For years I did not treat my body with good sleep. What was the result? Well, my skin and well being took a toll. I was exhausted and constantly filling up on caffeine to compensate. I've posted a few lifestyle and well-being posts recently to include How to Create a Morning Routine and Eat Healthier - Be Happier, so I decided this week I should address sleep.
For many of us, falling asleep can be a struggle. We really want to rest, but our mind wanders from one thing to the next. Then, it causes our body to feel like it just can't get relaxed. I've tried several different strategies until finally I rested on a good routine that works for me.
Here are a few ways to help your body get good rest by preparing for bedtime:
- Have a designated time to shut off electronics - For me, nothing past 10:00pm. Since I have a little one, shutting off devices at 8:00pm isn't really an option for me to go to work, take care of my daughter and still have time to blog. So, 10:00pm is my shut off time. No more Instagram, Blogging, Pinterest or other social media after that.
- Get Your To Dos Out of Your Head - Write a quick to do list before you either leave work that day or before you settle into bed. It's always good to get the musts out of the way like laying out your clothes (or kids clothes if you have any). Set the coffee pot or layout tea for the morning. Also, packing lunch for the next day makes it easy to take your mind off what you need to do in the morning. Finally, before your bedtime routine - check your calendar. Having your to do list ready to go and clothes laid out will simplify that process in the morning and give your mind rest.
Now onto the actual bedtime routine:
- Chamomile Tea - There is so much to be said for Eastern Medicine philosophy, but tea is probably at the top of my list. I was ALWAYS a coffee drinker until about a year ago. I've really gotten into different types of tea for the antioxidants, cleansing attributes and many other health benefits. Chamomile tea is probably my favorite at bedtime. I also really love the taste of Yogi's Bedtime Tea.
- Lavender and Jasmine - If your muscles are sore, rub a few drops of lavender into your lotion and apply to the fatigued muscle. Another thing is to apply the mixture to the back of your neck and shoulders. Your skin absorbs oils very quickly and you will notice within 15 minutes your body will release a ton of tension. Lavendar oil smells so good and it's also helpful to get a diffuser for the oil. I received one for a gift, but they are less than $50 and will emit scents of essentials oils into the air. Jasmine is also a relaxing essential oil. I like to add it to a bath.
- Reflection/Reading - Now that you have turned off your electronics and set your alarm for the next day, take a few minutes to read something like a chapter out of your favorite book or something inspiring/spiritual. Feeding the soul is so important to get the body and mind to relax. I also jot down a few reflection thoughts before I start my bedtime yoga, which you can read about below.
- Don't Drink Alcohol - As much as a good glass of red wine will put anyone to sleep, one should not consume it on a regular nightly basis. First, it dehydrates the body - leaving your more fatigued the next day. Second, it disrupts sleep patterns. It is much better for the body to relax naturally than to sedate with alcohol. Always drink alcohol sparingly to avoid sleep pattern disruptions (amongst many other effects it can have on the body).
- Stretching/Yoga - I found a very simple yoga flow you can do in bed to help your body relax. Check it out here on my Pinterest Board - Getting Fit. I love yoga, it really eases tension and helps you overall in boosting blood flow to the brain and relaxing your muscles.