Creating Healthy Sleep Cycles and Habits
We focus on creating healthy habits around diet and exercise but what about your sleep habits? Sleep is when our body and brain rest, repair and rebuild. So no matter what your goals are healthy sleep habits should be a priority!
Bedtime Rituals and Routines:
Humans are creatures of habits, whether we realize them or not. Ever try brushing your teeth with the opposite hand? No because that's ludicrous and uncomfortable. Bedtime rituals or routines are no different. If you can't fall asleep without watching tv in bed, that is a habit you have built up. A habit that is actually causing you to stay wound up instead of winding down before falling asleep. Some alternative ways to winddown before bed.
Reduce your blue light up to 3 hours before bed. Try using blue light blocking glasses and switch your devices over to night mode. You don't need a prescription for blue light blockers! You can pick them up anywhere.
No screens or TV in bed. We want to reestablish that the bedroom in for sleeping and resting only. Not a second living room.
Take a hot shower or bath before bed. This will actually help you reduce your body temperature before bed.
Breath work in bed! Breathwork is a form of mindful meditation, it will help your CNS relax and make it easier to drift off to sleep. You have to clear that mind!
Create a welcoming sleep environment:
Let's be honest, if you hate everything in your bedroom you wont want to be in there. Time to toss that lumpy pillow and update the bed you've had for the past 12 years. You want to create a relaxing and peaceful setting that will make you want to sleep.
Keep your room cool. Any where below 68degrees is optimal sleeping temperatures.
Total and utter darkness. Black out curtains and an eye mask to keep those peepers closed. Fun Fact! Melatonin production is triggered by darkness.
Clean and comfy bedding will help set the tone of relaxing. Also warm feet help you fall asleep faster. So throw an extra blanket over those toes or sleep in socks.
Blocking out noise can help also. Soft earplugs will do just enough to muffle most noises.
What you do during the day directly affects your sleep quality and vice versus. If you wake feeling unrested and cranky that will set the entire tone for your day. In turn how you spend your day can help set you up for a night of quality restful sleep.
Move your body through space. Not just your regular daily activity of living. Through in some purposeful exercise.
Stay Hydrated! Try and drink half your body weight in ounces of water.
Eat a well balanced diet rich in micronutrients.
No caffeine before bed. Do your best to not have any 4 hours or more before bed time. Your body will still be breaking it down and it can disrupt your sleep cycles.
Digestion is another one that takes a great deal of energy and doesn't allow your body to rest. So try not to eat directly before bed if you can.
Consistency is key when you are starting a new routine. It may be hard at first to make changes and you will slide back to old habits. But stay the course, I promise once your sleep improves other things will too!
- Coach Kali