As I try to find balance (my word for 2021) between juggling a practicum, work, completing my Graduate degree… oh and you know just everyday life! It dawned on me the importance of SLEEP!!!
I researched and developed a sleep routine that works for me, and WOW the wonders it has done on my overall mood. Gone are the days of waking up foggy, annoyed, and “tired”.
My tip to you is keep it basic, but be consistent.
Sleeping well is a habit you can learn! By making even the smallest changes, it can have big effects. Here are some tips that you can start incorporating today!
[The ones with the “star” are what I have included in my sleep routine]
Take Care of Your Body
- Do not drink caffeine: no tea, coffee, or soda after 4 o’clock
- Do not eat a big or spicy meal late in the evening
- *Do not go to bed hungry
- *Avoid alcohol as it interferes with sleep
- Such as a brisk walk, in the late afternoon can help to make your body tired and help you to sleep. Try to do some sort of exercise every day
*Sleep only at night-time and do not have day-time naps, no matter how tired you feel! Naps, will keepthe problem going by making it harder for you to get to sleep the next night.
Limit Your Screen-Time
- stop the Instagram/Facebook scrolling and put your cellphone or laptop away…at least 1 hour before bed
- *Having a regular bedtime routine teaches your body when it’s time to go to sleep
Tips for a Bedtime Routine
- Have a soothing drink like camomile tea or a milky drink
- *Have a bath, or a routine of washing your face (hello skincare routine) and brushing/flossing your teeth
- *Do a relaxed breathing exercise (one hand on stomach the other on your chest, deliberately slow your breathing, breathe deeply in your stomach instead of high in your chest)
- *Meditate or Pray before bed
- *Read a book or journal for 15-minutes
- *Incorporate soothing essential oils like Lavender (apply directly on skin, use as a linen spray or diffuse in the room)
- *Go to bed at same time each night & try to wake up at the same time every day…even if it is tiring to begin with. It is all about being consistent
Make Your Bedroom a Pleasant Place
- Get a nightlight
- Keep it clean and tidy
- *Introduce pleasant smells such as a drop of lavender oil onto the pillow…I’m not kidding Lavender Oil is AMAZING; A game-changer for your bedtime routine
- Get extra pillows
- *Make sure that your home is safe e.g. doors locked; windows closed
REMEMBER: Bed is for sleeping, so if you cannot sleep after 30 minutes, get up and do another activity elsewhere such as reading or listening to music (try and avoid TV as it can wake you up). After 15minutes return to bed and try to sleep again. If you still can’t sleep after 30 minutes get up again. Repeat this routine as many times as necessary and only use your bed for sleeping in.
Adapted from PSYCHOLOGYTOOLS.org