Sleep is a powerful thing. If you get a good night rest, you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the world, like a god damn superhero, but if it’s out of whack, it can derail your day and completely own you.
We’ve all had days where we’re running on empty, eyes bulging, mind scattered and I have no shame in saying that on many occasions I have referred to myself as needing toothpicks to stay awake just like Mr Bean.
However, I have found that by following these 10 simple steps below my sleep, mood and focus have improved significantly as a result of prioritising my sleep and need for rest.
10 tips for a better night sleep
- Develop a sleep pattern by going to bed and rising at the same time every day. This will allow your body to develop a sleep rhythm. I recommend joining the 10 pm club for most adults, 8:30 pm for teens and even earlier for primary school kids. I personally aim to be in bed by 9pm for ultimate rest and to be ready to rise with the sun.
- Establish a bedtime routine like having a warm bath, listening to relaxing music, using essential oils such as the Nighty Nighty essential oil or Nighty Night massage oil, or sipping on a chamomile tea to calm down and get ready for rest.
- Your bed is for two things only – sleeping and sex. Keep reading non-pleasurable material, TV and pets outside of the bedroom and keep rest and rumbles inside.
- Exercise in the morning to wake the body up and burn energy throughout the day. Morning workouts also allow your body temperature time to readjust and cool down, providing more profound rest.
- Meditate before bed to create a calm space to sit quietly and relax the mind and body. Three minutes is enough time to relax the mind and assist your brainwaves in mimicking the early stages of sleep.
- Cool the room by opening the windows to provide fresh air or lowering the air temperature with AC or a fan. We sleep better when we are cool.
- Dim the lights at least 30 minutes before bedtime, use a salt lamp in the bedroom and definitely reduce your families exposure to screen light within this time frame.
- Avoid stimulants such as smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeine from the late afternoon and before bedtime. Even some foods such as spices can be heating and stimulating for the body.
- Sleep like a king or queen by purchasing a supportive mattress, pillows, sheets, blankets and comfy sleepwear that make you want to be in bed.
- Prepare for tomorrow by writing your to-do-list and preparing lunches before bedtime. This will limit the mental preparation and clutter that keeps us awake at night.
Sleep is the bridge between ending and starting a new day on top of your game and accept that, just like being good at anything, it takes practice, dedication and knowledge to improve your sleep quality.