Good quality restorative sleep is exactly what our bodies and minds need to reduce anxiety and support our immune system. It is also one of the most effective ways to take you out of a stress state and into a relaxation state and is essential for optimum performance.
Whilst we sleep the accumulation of waste, emotional and physical, is cleared. Lack of sleep can cause us to struggle with focus and concentration, make us more emotionally sensitive, and sleep deprivation is also linked with weight gain.
As it starts to get dark the hormone melatonin is released. This hormone not only helps us to fall asleep but it also can help reduce oxidation and inflammation in the body. Research has shown that by exposing ourselves to the artificial light omitted from smartphones and other electrical devices, can reduce the amount of melatonin released by more than 50 per cent. It is disrupting our sleep by just having one last scroll through Insta or checking emails right before lights out.
Our internal body clock is known as the circadian rhythm. It wakes us up and send us to sleep. Lack of sleep it a stressor so if you have had a particularly stressful day then making sure you get good quality restorative sleep is a priority.
Evening routines that set the tone for the next day
An evening routine is an established time to get ready for bed. It creates a foundation for a better tomorrow and can help set you up for success. Evenings should be viewed as a great time for wrapping up our day with a clear mind and in order to set ourselves up for that essential deep restorative sleep.
Building routines into your life can be challenging and it takes intention and discipline. The more you do it the easier it will become. Like brushing your teeth!
Movement throughout the day and stay hydrated
Avoid vigorous exercise in the evenings as it can make it harder for you to fall asleep.
Try a calming yoga such as Nidra or some stretches in the evening time.
Eat a lighter evening meal
Give your digestive system a break
Make your bedroom your sanctuary
Keep it clean and clutter free. Have black out blinds if possible, in order to make it dark and block out light. Keep the temperature cool around 15 – 18 C.
Prepare for tomorrow
Tidy up as who wants to wake up to a messy kitchen. Prepare your clothes for the following day. Get your exercise clothes together. Prepare your food.
Clear your head
Make out your to do list and goals for the following day
Reflect on the day’s achievements. This puts things into perspective and provides encouragement
Journal in order to clear the mind of any ruminations. I call this my brain dump
Write down 3 things you are grateful for. This can program your mind into a more positive one instead of stressing over the days events
Meditate. I like to use a guided app such as Calm or Headspace
Body scan. Lie down and scan your body from head to toe with your eyes closed and note where you are feeling any tension
Do some breathing exercises
Repeat an affirmation such as “Today is gone, what’s done is done. Tomorrow comes with a whole new light”
Have a tech detox
1-2 hours before bed turn off all e-devices to minimise blue light. If you really have to look at your electronic device ensure you turn on the filter or are wearing blue light blocking glasses.
Read a calming book
Not a self-development one or scary thriller
Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol
Try herbal teas such as chamomile or stick to water
On waking aim for 20 minutes of natural daylight. This triggers your brain to release chemicals that regulate sleep cycles. More on the best morning routines to come.
Tweak your habits before you sleep and set yourself up for excellence! Stick with it and your days will flow more smoothly.
Your habits decide your future.
Your health is your wealth and you are your most important asset