Having trouble falling asleep? or waking up in the middle of the night? Insomnia? Not surprising as lack of sleep is a big issue and many people suffers from sleep deprivation. We live in a society where there is a non stop flow of information, the news, hectic work hours, busy schedules. We run all day long between our multiple chores and we can't separate from our phones and laptops. This constant "noise" isn't helping to find rest at night. We forgot about how to find rest and calmness after a long day. We always feel the need to do something and if we don't, we feel like we're losing time.
Sleep is essential. We need between 7-8 hours of sleep. Noticed how when you sleep less, you are moody, craving sweets, more hungry, brain fog, tired, no motivation and exhausted after a work day? Sleepiness is also one of the main reason for car accidents. Lack of sleep do really have an impact on the quality of your life. That's because our body rejuvenate from our busy lives during night time.
Sleep is definitely a health component and the number one medicine for beauty! It is good for your skin, it improves your memory, your creativity, your performance. It lowers your stress levels and helps control cholesterol level. Studies showed that longer sleep increases your lifespan. It affects your anxiety and depression. And catching up on your sleep on the weekend due to a busy week schedule isn't always helping as your body needs a routine. Having a balanced healthy week should be the goal in the long run.
Here's some tips to find sleep:
- Sleep routine
Our bodies need a rhythm, so why not start a sleeping ritual before going to bed. Stop working (if you are a workaholic!), turn off your laptops and phones an hour before going to bed and enjoy this 1 hour to relax, and have a moment for yourself. Take a relaxing bath, shower, body lotion time, do some meditation, read a good inspiring book, light some candles and listen to some relaxing music. It's a good opportunity to write in your gratitude journal.
- Sleeping environment
Your bedroom should be a warm and cozy place. You spend so many hours of your day in your bed that you should feel good and comfortable. Make your bed in the morning, organize and make space for a quiet, peaceful haven of yours. Your room needs to be dark at night. If you can't close your shutter or there is too much light, wear an eye mask. Open your windows - keeping your room cool and fresh is also part of a good night sleep. You know it already, but no TV, no computer, no phone an hour before bed. The light and electronic energy isn't good for your body, so try to hide those little annoying lights from alarm clock or other devices. Lavender or tea tree oil are known to improve sleep. Put a few drops of these scents on your pillow.
A 30 minute physical activity during the day is important not only for your health but also for a good night sleep. Walking home after work is a good transition between your day and evening. Avoid late workouts as they can give you more energy and stop you from falling asleep.
- Restorative Yoga / Relaxation / Meditation
A 10 minute meditation where you just sit still and do nothing helps to find peace and stop thinking about your to do list for tomorrow. Yoga is a wonderful tool for so many aspects of life and it is also for the sleep too! Relaxation, breathing exercise or yoga are good ways to relax and let go of your day. Here's some pre bedtime yoga poses! Studies have shown that yoga improves the time and quality of sleep for people with chronic insomnia. Preparing your body for a good night sleep is also key to falling asleep faster. If you slow down an hour before, your body will recognize that it's time for bed.
- Sleep Cycles
We have sleep cycles during the night and you don't want to miss your wave! When you feel tired don't wait too long before finding your bed as you may miss your cycle. Cycles last from 90 minutes to 2 hours. And the more restorative sleep is often said to be the sleep before midnight.
There are some foods that will make you find dream land easier like bananas (magnesium and melatonin), potatoes (tryptophan), oatmeal (melatonin), almonds (tryptophan and magnesium), flaxseeds (omega 3 fatty acids that helps to sleep), herbal teas like chamomile (it relaxes and calmed the mind), mint or valerian and honey (orexin that helps to calm). You shouldn't eat at least 2-3 hours before bed so your body has time to digest and avoid coffee, alcohol or sugar in the evenings and even better if you can stop your coffee breaks around 4pm.