If you are not sleeping well, you are not living well!
I know, that is a bold statement, but I truly believe that your whole life would improve if you slept well each night.
Since sleep is my thing, I want to share my Top 5 Tips for getting a better sleep, starting tonight:
Move Every Day
Notice I said move, not exercise? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good workout just like the rest of us but thankfully starting a crazy exercise routine is not necessary to sleep well each night.
What your body does need, though, is to MOVE! We were not designed to sit for hours at a time, so take 5 minute breaks, or use your lunch to walk outside for 15 minutes. If you can give your body these little breaks it will reward you by sleeping better. Ever notice how some men and women just seem to sleep deeper, they are the ones that are frustrating because they fall asleep easy and don’t wake even if fireworks are going off beside the bed? Do they tend to preform physical work during the day? Often there is a correlation between working your body hard and a deeper, restorative sleep because if our body works hard, then it sleeps hard so it can restore itself, it’s just science.
My Advice: Try to move your body for 30 minutes each day. If you can’t take a 30 minute break then try to take 3-10 minute breaks. Park a bit further away than normal, try biking to buy milk instead of driving, go for a walk after dinner, or even just vacuuming the house can be enough to get your blood pumping. Remember that your body just needs to move.
Use Your Bed for Sleep (& Sex) Only
No TV, no phones, no work, no pets, nothing but you and your bed. It is proven that we physically sleep better alone (you don’t have to kick your partner out, mentally we enjoy the company) with nothing to distract our mind from sleep. Bonus- it is proven that couples without a TV in their room have more intimate time together, does that help motivate you?! 😉
Once you start only using your bed for sleep you will fall asleep faster as your brain will associate your bed with sleep, and only sleep. If you are always doing work in your bed, or watching TV then your brain stops associating it with sleep, which will make falling asleep, or sleeping through the night more difficult.
My Advice: Keep your room clutter free, put the laundry away, tidy up the paperwork, sweep your floor because even if you don’t consciously hate it, your subconscious does and it clutters your mind, which takes away from a good night’s sleep!
Limit Your Blue Light Exposure
Do you spend most of the day looking at a computer screen? Only to go home and check your phone, and then turn on the TV? You are not alone, many people spend their day surrounded by blue light, and unfortunately, it directly affects our sleep!
Melatonin is the sleep hormone, we need it to be able to sleep. Blue light impedes the production of melatonin which interferes with your body’s natural circadian rhythm, see below:
My Advice: Limit your exposure for the hour before you go to bed. Turn off your TV and read a book, have a bath, meditate, call a friend, or use blue blocking devices if necessary. The less you’re exposed to the better you will sleep!
The weather we have been waiting for is finally here so get out there and enjoy it! One of the best ways to anchor our circadian rhythm is to get outside for some noon-day sun. Since the sun is the strongest at that time it helps our body to distinguish when is daytime and when is night-time, and guess what, when your body knows that, you will sleep better!
Everyone has a slightly different body clock, hence the early birds and the night owls, (yes, it’s a real thing) so going to bed when your body wants to go to bed can drastically improve your sleep (ie. if you don’t normally fall asleep until 11, trying to go to bed at 9 every night might make you go crazy!).
My Advice: If you need help getting your body clock on track then get outside for some fresh air around lunchtime, heck, you might as well get some movement in at the same time and it’s a win, win! Also, track your sleep to see what your body likes best and then respect that timing.
Respect Your Sleep
I know it seems like a no-brainer, but, your body was designed to sleep so if you are experiencing night wake-ups or trouble falling asleep there is a good chance it is because of something you are doing, or not doing, during the day which has an impact on your body’s ability to sleep. If you respect your sleep by going to bed at the same time each night and following my tips above you will see that your body will respect you back and repay you with a good night’s sleep.
My Advice: Implement one of these changes and stick to it for 5-7 days. Don’t give up as it takes time to undo habits, once you body gets back on track sleep will come easy again, I promise.
If you have read this and feel that you could benefit from a custom approach then please know this is my speciality. I will pinpoint what is in the way of getting a good night’s sleep and offer simple ideas to teach your body to love sleep again. My clients see improvement’s in the first week with permanent results after 3-4 weeks. Let’s improve your life through sleep, together.