Sleep is as essential to our survival as eating; so why don’t we spend just as much time thinking about sleep as we do a great meal?
Failing to fall asleep quickly can be frustrating yet we often wait until it’s too late to prepare our body for rest.
You wouldn’t wait until you’d lost all your teeth to try brushing them or until your body was covered in sores to shower; so why do we wait until we’re sleep-deprived to think about strengthening our sleep habits?
Successful sleep needs to be an essential part of our daily hygiene routine because it contributes to 5 main functions that keep us feeling great:
- Regulating appetite and metabolism;
- Regulating hormones and mood;
- Aiding in immunity functioning;
- Aiding in cardiovascular functioning;
- And cognitive function for workplace performance.
Everyone has a different schedule which is why we’ve compiled a list of ways you can prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep morning, noon and night.
- Wake up at a similar time of day every morning to establish a consistent rhythm for your body clock. Yes, even on your day off.
- Seek out sunlight. Busy schedules can make getting outside hard but try eating your breakfast outside or allow time in your lunch break for a short walk outside. If you have the time to exercise outside that’s even better!
- Before you leave the house make your bed or neaten your room so it’s an inviting place to come home to. The best sleeping conditions are dark, quiet and smell great.
- Set a sleep target time. Evaluate your goals for the day and determine what you can realistically achieve before your desired sleep window. Setting a guideline can stop tasks from dragging late into the night.
- Feeling sluggish in the afternoon? Fight the urge to take a long nap, it will increase your chances of lying awake late into the night. If you absolutely must have a rest, limit it to 20-30 minutes.
- Reduce the consumption of stimulants such as smoking, alcohol, coffee, energy drinks and highly processed sugary, fatty or spicy foods.
- Don’t startle your system with a harsh sleep schedule change. If you usually head to bed around 2am but would prefer it was 10pm don’t expect an instant result. Introduce an earlier bedtime by 30-60 minutes each night.
- Our body needs to warm up to exercise and it needs to wind down to sleep. Spending 15-30 minutes relaxing or having a cup of tea can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep later.
- Flip your morning routine and establish a muscle memory night-time routine. Start signalling to your body when it’s bedtime by establishing a pattern such as putting on your pyjamas and brushing your teeth at the same time and then getting straight into bed.
- Invest in bedding that makes you excited to sleep! You use these things every single day so take time to find a pillow that doesn’t make your neck ache and sheets that don’t scratch.
- Ban bright lights. Once you’re in bed avoid items your body associates with an active brain such as laptops.
You don’t need to complete this entire list to improve your sleep.
Start easy with a cup of non-caffeinated tea in the evenings. The process of making and drinking a cup of tea is the perfect way to begin your wind-down routine because it keeps your mind active enough to meditate while staying unplugged from devices.
Some of our best bedtime blends, that may be just what your body needs to relax and get ready for rest, are listed below.